Steps to Topping Up
So you've bought a franking machine and are ready to go - the hardware's sitting there and everything looks good. So what happens next?
Topping up postage on your franking machine is really simple.
- All you have to do is go to the display screen.
- Here, click “top up”, and choose how much you would like to add. The money will be transferred from your account automatically.
- You can choose to have this feature password-protected so that only authorized people can top up your postage.
- The display will also show you reports on how much you have spent on postage so far.
- All done, and ready to be used again.
What Method Should You Use to Top Up?
Every company runs their business slightly differently but the best ways of topping up credit on your franking machine are almost universal.
Gone are the days of long winded methods of transferring money to get you up and running; these days franking machines can be controlled remotely and top-ups applied instantly, in a similar way to a mobile phone.
Speed is likely to be a key in topping up your franking machine which is why it is sensible to have an account which can be used to directly transfer money to your operator. A direct debit or specific account may be ideal for some businesses and this can remove any worry about non-payment.
If you have a machine which connects directly via a modem to a phone line it will make the job very straightforward; suppliers such as Pitney Bowes and Neopost encourage you to establish an account with them through which funds are instantly debited on your request.
Of course, this is the ideal solution for many users. Type in a code on the keypad or online, get prompted to type in the amount you would like to top up, and confirm by entering a further keypad code. Some operators even allow you to use the account in arrears and choose to pay late, albeit with extra charges.
These methods are certainly favoured by business users as fast and straightforward solutions, but there are still plenty of alternatives for those who prefer to keep personal contact with the suppliers.
Most operators offer a telephone service for those who wish to top up. You simply call, using a national rate phone line, and choose your payment method. Larger companies may request a dedicated account which can then be topped up with debit cards or online transfer; others will still accept card or even cheque payment.
Can I Pay by Cheque?
While it may seem anachronistic in the age of electronic funds transfer, those who wish to hold onto paper and pen can still send cheques to some suppliers but this usually incurs an annual administration fee.
Credit card payment for certain companies can also be made but you may get charged for the privilege.
Establishing a designated account which can then be controlled through the machine itself, or telephone/online accounting do seems to be a far more sensible long term solutions.
Top Up Charges
Finally, be aware of your supplier's charges for topping up. Some allow you a number of fee-free transactions whilst others charge a variable amount dependent on how much you are topping up. Although franking machines will save you money, good control of your top-ups will invariably save you a great deal more.
How to Update Rate Changes on a Franking Machine?
Postal Manager Eleanor talks us through how to update the Royal Mail rate changes on a business franking machine.
"When the rates change, Royal Mail will send me a letter letting me know that they're going to change. The franking machine itself is connected to a network for your account so all it is from there, on the particular day that the rates do need changing, you will get a message on your franking machines display, It normally says "Your franking machine needs an update. Press the update button." You press the button and it does it all itself."
"It will restart itself and when it comes back on, the new rates are there. There's nothing you have to do. You don't have to click anything, you don't have to type anything in and make sure you get everything right. It does it all for you. It's just an update, as if you're updating an app on your phone – it’s really that simple."