Postage meter or sending solution: What’s the difference?

Today’s sending solutions can do more for your business than you may realize. Here’s what differentiates them from the postage meters of the past.

The very first postage meters that Pitney Bowes introduced back in the 1920s were bulky mechanical devices that operated with a crank and chain drive. Since that time, postage meters have evolved as the pace of business has accelerated. Today’s meters are sophisticated, digitally connected devices that offer a wealth of robust features to meet the demands of the modern workplace. Where older meters performed a single task dependably, today’s meters are multi-functional sending solutions that help businesses streamline workflows while saving time and money. Here are some of the major features that make these devices more practical, efficient and cost effective than ever.

Digital connectivity

Perhaps the biggest single difference between an old-school postage meter and today’s sending solutions is digital connectivity. Gone are the days when a postage meter was a disconnected device hidden away in the mailroom. With links to the local area network and the Internet, modern sending solutions can efficiently access information, facilitate transactions and share data with accounting and analytics applications.

Smart meters help businesses save time in many ways. The most obvious may be refilling postage without placing a phone call or bringing the meter to the Post Office. Modern meters monitor postage levels and can refill on demand by accessing the user’s account online. There’s never a need to worry about running out of postage in the middle of an important mailing. Many systems can also download the latest postal rate information, ensuring that every mail piece carries the correct postage. Last but not least, many of today’s devices can also monitor ink usage and order additional ink before supplies run out.


Just as today’s smartphones are equipped with cameras, web browsers and a variety of apps, today’s smart sending solutions come embedded with apps that enable a variety of new and useful functions. Built-in accounting apps not only track postage spend; they can also allocate costs to a specific department, client or project. Businesses can spotlight their brand tagline or special offers by printing a custom message or logo on each envelope. Many models also include analytics that can generate detailed reports on sending history and costs, and a built-in address book that helps minimize costly returned mail.

Smarter mailing is just one part of the story. The rise of ecommerce has seen a vast increase in the number of parcel shipments, and today’s sending solutions help businesses simplify shipments and shop for the best carrier rates and logistics. First, built-in digital scales provide accurate weights for small parcels up to seven kilograms. Next, users choose the optimal carrier rate and generate a trackable shipping label. Some systems also offer an optional scanner that makes it easy to track incoming mail and packages.


These powerful new capabilities come packaged in systems that are simple for any staff member to operate. The latest devices feature large, full colour touchscreens that guide users step-by-step through the mailing or shipping process.

Because businesses send much more than letters, most modern sending solutions also accommodate postcards, as well as oversized and padded envelopes. Automatic feed and jam-free technology simplify batch mailing. There’s no need to stand at the meter and feed one envelope at a time. The result: most sending tasks can be completed quickly with minimal effort.

Built-in savings

No business can be profitable without a sharp eye on the bottom line. Perhaps the best news of all is that many of today’s sending systems provide access to postal discounts that are unavailable at the Post Office as well as shipping discounts you may have negotiated with your preferred carriers.

Compact design

Good things really do come in small packages. Today’s sending systems feature a compact footprint and clean modern design that fits well into any office space.

Which features and sending capabilities would be most valuable for your business? Pitney Bowes offers a variety of sending solutions specifically designed for small and midsized businesses. Simply select the model that matches your mailing and shipping volume. In addition to the efficiency and accuracy of metered mail, your business will benefit from postage savings, trackable shipping at discounted rates, online postage refills and much more. Position your company for greater efficiency and profitability. To find the sending solution that best fits your needs, contact a Pitney Bowes representative today.