Mail & Ship

How to achieve world-class print and mail compliance with your business

Think of all the sensitive mail that you, as a consumer, receive each day. Bills, bank statements, tax forms. How would you feel if any of these statements were sent to your next door neighbour’s house instead?

All of these documents have private information that is meant to stay that way – private. When sensitive customer information ends up in the wrong envelope or delivered to the wrong address, it poses security risks to the consumer and serious compliance risks to the company that sent it. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is around $3.7 million EUR, which demonstrates the considerable financial cost of insecure information. 

That’s why enterprise mail operations need to stay on top of print and mail compliance. If your organisation is on the wrong end of a compliance dispute, you could be forced to pay millions in fines or face serious reputational risk. By understanding how you are responsible for sensitive consumer information, and then making technology and process changes within your mail operations to secure this information, you can improve your ability to stay compliant.

Pick your poison: Regulated communications by industry

Every mail operation should carefully manage customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). PII includes anything that could distinguish an individual’s identity either alone or if combined with other information. That means businesses need to secure any mail sent that might contain a person’s name, date or place of birth, mother’s maiden name and other distinguishing facts. Countries have national data protection laws to regulate PII, like the UK’s Data Protection Act, France’s Data Protection Act or Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act. In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will take effect in the European Union, regulating how companies protect the personal data of EU citizens.  

Under the umbrella of these privacy laws, PII is regulated across a number of industries. In the area of public health, the EU’s Data Protection Directive oversees the collection, recording, storage, disclosure consultation, adaptation and use of personal healthcare data. 

In consumer banking or lending, the regulations control how financial institutions collect, disclose and safeguard private financial details. This could affect how you mail billing or account statements, credit risk disclosures, collection letters and even welcome letters. This could apply not just to banks or lenders, but also insurance companies that send out policy notifications and credit card companies that mail credit documentation letters.

Another challenge is the sheer volume of material businesses produce that could potentially contain PII. While increasing print volumes creates a growth opportunity for mail service bureaus, it also means even more sensitive information to securely print, insert and sort.

Capabilities that help ensure print and mail compliance

How do you ensure that your mail operations are effectively securing PII and meeting industry and federal regulations? By creating a tightly controlled and efficient mail centre that incorporates the very best in world-class operational technology and compliance capabilities at every step of the process.

For example, with a printing system, you can print codes on each page and scan each piece as it is printed to implement tracking and ensure accurate communications. Automated reconciliation and reprinting solves multi-stream printing challenges and helps you create reports for tracking and auditing purposes. Additionally, duplex verification ensures the integrity of each mailpiece by reading codes on both sides of each page to prevent out-of-sequence printing.

Intelligent printing systems can inspect for the presence or absence of values such as MICR print codes used in check printing, the readability of postal or other barcodes, colour accuracy for brand logos, colour consistency between jobs and across fleets of printers, and calibration tracking to insure that a numeral “8” doesn’t become a “6.”  

A modern inserting system with file-based processing facilitates compliance and quality by creating a traceability record for every mailpiece that can be monitored throughout its lifecycle. Inserting privacy technology can even implement in-line, high-speed weighing capabilities to ensure each mailpiece includes the proper contents. High-integrity mail and parcel sorters can accurately scan and sort mailpieces at a high speed, ensuring you don’t have to slow down operations to address compliance. 

Benefits of a trusted print and mail compliance partner

Ultimately, your goal as a print and mail operator should be to achieve full mail chain of custody, automatically tracking and tracing mail pieces from data verification to finishing and printing. As your mail solutions partner, Pitney Bowes can help businesses address end-to-end compliance needs with the latest technology solutions and expert compliance services.

One Swiss provider of client communication management for the highly regulated European banking, insurance and real estate industries completely upgraded its mail operations at two facilities with dozens of efficient, secure Pitney Bowes inserting systems. With strategic support from Pitney Bowes and access to 24/7 technical service from a team of fix to six onsite Pitney Bowes engineers every day, the company was able to triple its operational throughput on high-volume machines, reduce labor costs and increase quality of output.

That’s what’s possible when you engineer your mail centre for operational excellence. As regulators draft tighter compliance mandates and customer expectations for privacy become even higher, you can continue to meet and exceed internal and external standards. 

Pitney Bowes is a trusted partner to mail operators looking to consistently satisfy industry and federal compliance. Learn more about print and mail compliance solutions from Pitney Bowes, including our high-integrity mail finishing solutions and expert mail professional services and consulting.