USPS IMI Compliance: Understanding the Switch

Nathan Cross January 23, 2024

Staying compliant with USPS standards is crucial for businesses relying on timely and accurate mail delivery. 

With ever-changing requirements and standards to adhere to, it can be difficult to stay ahead of what's coming. A major change in USPS mailing standards in 2024 is the adoption of Intelligent Mail Indicia (IMI) compliance. This new technology aims to simplify the mailing process and ensure that postage meters meet USPS requirements. In this blog post, we'll detail what you need to know about USPS IMI compliance. 

What is USPS IMI Compliance?


IMI stands for Intelligent Mail Indicia, a new performance standard being implemented by the USPS. IMI's advanced technology improves USPS's understanding of mailing and postage, surpassing the current IBI standard. IMI will give USPS more detailed live transaction data, automate their operations, boost security, and ensure accurate mail postage. 

The current IBI (Information Based Indicia) has been in the process of being replaced by IMI since 2013, but the complete transition from IBI to IMI compliance will end by this year. Any postage meters complying with IBI standards will be decertified by June 30th 2024, and will need to be withdrawn by December 31, 2024. 





Why replace IBI?


IBI technology utilizes 2D barcodes to encode different types of information. This includes postage, zip codes, mail details, weight, tracking numbers, and a signature.

This technology requires periodic connection to servers through landlines, refreshing its data every 90 days. Despite its capabilities, IBI technology is susceptible to potential issues such as incorrect postage rates and mail classes. Also, its security measures don't meet current standards, showing the need for improvements to address modern security worries. 


IMI includes all the information from IBI, but adds more data to improve USPS's mail management. Additionally, it automates processes, increases security, and reduces costs. The system establishes a more frequent connection, updating every 72 hours through a dedicated LAN System, ensuring real-time accuracy.

IMI has strong security with FIPS 140-2 standard, protecting against potential threats. Additionally, IMI's enhanced tracking system contributes to a more comprehensive and streamlined mail monitoring process. IMI has a manual postage entry option and keeps postal rates updated with automatic downloads, showing its advanced technology.


Pitney Bowes, a top mailing company for a century, keeps their postage meters compliant with IMI regulations. But other than just fulfilling a requirement by the USPS, what does IMI actually accomplish?

What will IMI compliance accomplish?




USPS IMI compliance improves your mailing process with new and smart methods, not just meeting a requirement. 

  • Increased Mailing Efficiency: IMI's data verifies that the postage paid matches the chosen class and services, ensuring efficient mailing and revenue assurance. This enables USPS to enhance the efficiency and smoothness of mail processing and service delivery.


  • Cost Savings: An IMI-compliant postage meter always calculates the correct postage, getting rid of the guesswork that causes overspending. IMI also saves money by automating tasks like counting mail and collecting transaction data. With several postage rate increases happening in 2024, it is imperative to have a postage meter with this functionality. 


  • Increased Data Security: IMI incorporates enhanced security measures that encrypt sensitive data, greatly reducing your risk for fraud. It also will provide physical tamper resistance and identity-based authentication. 


  • Automatic updates: Through IMI, your postage meter will be able to communicate with your provider more frequently, so changes to postage rates and specifications are updated to your meter automatically. 


How to Ensure IMI Compliance in 2024


The easiest way to ensure IMI compliance if your current postage meter is not up to date is to get a install updated device as soon as possible. With the deadline to switch right around the corner, it's important not to wait until the last minute. You need a solution that will work now. 

Pitney Bowes SendPro® postage meters are already in line with IMI standards. The SendPro® series streamlines the process of postage calculation and application, removing the necessity for manual weighing, computation, and postage attachment. This automation reduces errors and frees up time for businesses to focus on their main tasks. Pitney Bowes postage meters are highly efficient in saving time in fast-paced business environments.  


Start preparing for the switch to IMI


Incorporating Intelligent Mail Indicia compliance into your mail operations is a strategic move for businesses looking to optimize their postal processes. The benefits of enhanced visibility, cost savings, and streamlined operations make IMI compliance a valuable asset in today's fast-paced business environment.

Ensure your organization stays ahead by embracing USPS IMI compliance and reaping the rewards of a more efficient and reliable mail delivery system like Pitney Bowes. 

Visit our website for more information. 

Be sure to attend Pitney Bowes' webinar explaining IMI compliance 1/30/24 at 2PM. 


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