Royal Mail OBA (Online Business Account)

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Royal Mail are advising business sellers who still use paper dockets for PPI stamps (Printed Post Impression) to move to an Online Business Account (OBA).

For those using offline postage the minimum order value has risen from £5 to £20, plus a separate £1 handling fee. This means if your daily dispatch amount is less than £20 you’ll either need a trip to the Post Office or have to wait until you have £20 of postage before you ship your orders.

The minimum order value for OBA remains at £5, and the difference is due to the cost of printing andhandling paperwork compared to processing postage orders online. If you’re not already using OBA you can contact Royal Mail to add it to your existing business account.

14 Responses

  1. We have a Prepaid RM OBA account & we have to call in to get the daily order confirmed
    They’ve just stated as from today the minimum order value they can confirm is £20 aswell

  2. In the US all we have to do if send one item priority or express and we get free pickup on everything (which is like a $4.95 minimum). On the otherhand USPS just lost a little under $2 billion last quarter.

  3. We use dispatch express, has it’s faults but generally a great system. You have to commit to at least 15K of business a year but get a 20% discount on all postage costs.

  4. I think you miss the point… Royal Mail do not offer a choice in my experience.

    I think I sent roughly 6000 items of mail last year – which isn’t 15K of business but deserves some discount.

    The one and only only service I was offered had some (at the cost of ridiculous bureaucracy and paperwork – which could easily be simplified if Royal Mail Business had a clue). Now, with one day notice, I’m offered a premium cost for bulk or in reality no service at all other than going back to a consumer one.

    Royal Mail deliveries are a shining light and should be a source of pride for our nation. But their business services, the management at least, must be among the worst examples of business stupidity out there.


  5. @3 Pete, could you let me know some more information about dispatch express? Any additional postage discount we can get would be great.

  6. We have been using the OBA for a couple of years and I can confirm that it is a Royal pain in the arse. Slow, always crashing and cumbersome.

  7. #5 Dispatch express is the name of a piece of software, it’s issued to us from Royal Mail.

    Your are invoiced when your account reaches a certain level, for us we get an invoice when we hit about £1300-£1500 around every 2-3 weeks.

    Basically you get a 20% discount on all postage costs and free thermal labels for your new printer (the one you have to buy, not from Royal Mail).

    You can also have Saturday guaranteed Special delivery added to your account, you are charged about 5p on top of the normal special delivery charge for ALL specials (so the average covers the extra charge).

    You have to sign a contract saying that you will process around 15k of business PER Dispatch Express installation. So for example, if you only want to process your postage on one PC, you will only need one installation. If you are very busy and need 2 PC’s churning out postage, you will need to commit to 30K of postage costs.

    Royal Mail send you everything you need, the software, labels, tags etc. You have to buy the thermal printer (around £170)

    If you are already using OBA, speak to your account manager and they will get you started.

  8. Pete

    It’s not 15k ( which has been reduced to 10k ) of business PER Dispatch Express installation, it’s now per account.
    I have it running on 3 machines and my total spend is around 20k.

    They just provide a new activation codes for despatch express and link it all to the same account.

    It is a fantastic bit of software although it did take a bit of training to get it up and running, I don’t know why the royal mail don’t promote it more.

    You never need to log into OBA with despatch express as it’s all automatic.
    A the end of the day despatch express sends all the data to OBA without having to log into the site.

    For more info on it see

    This has been a real time saver, it halved the time it takes us to process postage.

  9. That’s interesting, when did they change that? If you’re correct, which you most likely are…I’m going to get another installation up.

  10. Pete call the Royal Mail and ask them for despatch express support, support is done by an outside company, they will give you the extra activation codes and also help with the insulation as it can be a bit tricky on some PC’s.

  11. I know, we had an issue with our first installation, the barcodes were unreadable and we had to install a few different fonts. Also the MySql is a real drain on system resources.

    I logged a call this morning, someone is getting back to me. Now I just need to find the original CD??!!

  12. Well, got a response regarding a second installation. They confirmed that we need to be hitting 10K of barcoded services per installation not per account.

    So that’s 10K of specials, recorded, airsure etc per installation.

    Peter, who is your contact at Royal Mail, would be interesting to talk to them.

  13. I use dispatch express – and concur with previous (positive comments) about the system.

    Speak to Kim Bergin (Royal Mail sales) on

    02920 392601
    [email protected]

    She really helped me alot get the system up and running. The discounts are more than 20% by the way! more like 30-35%.


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