Royal Mail have announced special barcodes for stamps, allowing people to watch videos, read messages and view links from senders.

Following a successful national trial, the Royal Mail have announced barcodes will be added to all Definitive stamps.

The move is part of the company’s extensive and ongoing modernisation drive, enabling the introduction of added security features.

Using the Royal Mail’s app, customers will be able to scan the barcode on the stamp to hopefully in the future be able to watch birthday videos and messages.

The new barcoded stamps will have a digital twin and the two will be connected by the Royal Mail App. The barcodes match the stamp colour and sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforation line.

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Nick Landon, Royal Mail Chief Commercial Officer said: “Introducing unique barcodes on our postage stamps allows us to connect the physical letter with the digital world and opens up the possibilities for a range of new innovative services in future.”

Definitive stamps are the regular ‘everyday’ stamps featuring the profile of HM The Queen. Non-barcoded Definitive and Christmas stamps will remain valid until 31 January 2023.

Non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through Royal Mail’s ‘Swap Out’ scheme.

The scheme will open on 31 March, allowing customers to send unused stamps via a Freepost address. Forms will be available will be available at Customer Service Points; the Royal Mail website and via the Customer Experience team at Royal Mail.

At the moment, the barcode features a Shaun the Sheep video, created exclusively for Royal Mail by the multi-award-winning British animation studio, Aardman.

The video is the first in a series of planned videos to be released during 2022 that will allow customers sending stamped mail to choose which video the recipient can see when they receive an item of mail.

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