Licensing deal aims to get the mail through

Australia Post has licensed QAS to use its clean customer data in a service aimed at helping businesses boost name and address accuracy of their mailing databases.

The address matching approval system and change of address data managed by Australia Post are included in the deal with QAS, which was initially involved with the service to flag data relevant to prove customer identity.

First Direct, a division of Australia Post, handles the licensing arrangements for the data created via AP's in-house development program called the address matching approval system.

The data, captured by QuickAddress Pro and developed by QAS, is used to automatically track a change in address and check names as they are registered with the Australia Post's National Change of Address File which references some 11.7 million Australian addresses. The system helps track some three million people - or 17 percent - who change addresses each year.

Glenn Parker, managing director of QAS, said one of the main reasons for its initial approach to Australia Post was to reduce the incidence for its business customers of mail marked 'return to sender'. QAS was working towards a system that enabled addresses to be flagged in order to notify customers of the relevant data needed to identify changed addresses, he said.

"Australia Post is more an operational-based service whereas we are the enabler of the data, but the data has probably been available for many years. Australia Post is trying to create an incentive because return-to-sender mail is a big cost to business and Australia Post alike," Parker said.

"One of the regulatory rules is that we cannot license or sell our product to debt collectors - and there is a specific inclusion of that.

"We have a change of address service where we advise clients of a new address and allow that data to be provided to flag that moved address, also another service to reconnect [utilities]; the whole process is very much consent-based so is very much in line with privacy compliance."

Parker said the service is a basic flag to show someone has moved; once flagged an organization can send in data files to be processed and then provide new addresses, provided the customer has consented.

QAS has launched this as a National Change of Address Service which automatically compares names and addresses with Australia Post's National Change of Address File. Businesses using the service provide customer data such as name and address for matching and feedback.

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