NCOA and CASS Certification
NCOA is a database maintained by the U.S. Postal Service of all individuals and companies who completed a Change of Address form in the previous four years.
Over 40 million Americans change their address each year. Outdated address information or address information that was not entered correctly, or is not in the correct USPS format are a major cause of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail.
This can lead to wasted resources and missed revenue when your mailings are not being received by your intended audience.
An NCOA update can reduce undeliverable and duplicate mail pieces by identifying incorrect addresses and correcting them prior to mailing.
National Change of Address (NCOALink) is a secure dataset of approximately 160 million permanent change-of-address (COA) records consisting of the names and addresses of individuals, families and businesses who have filed a change-of-address with the USPS”. [USPS] The USPS offers licenses for Interface Developers and Interface Distributors and all NCOALink interfaces are USPS certified. There are six licenses available including Full Service Providers (48 months) and Limited Service Providers (18 months). To obtain bulk mail rates, NCOALink is required, as it reduces the number of “undeliverable-as-addressed” mailpieces, saving money and reducing the USPS’s processing of this type of mail.
The Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)
CASS certification is offered by the USPS to all mailers, service bureaus, and software vendors that would like to evaluate the quality of their address-matching software and improve the accuracy of their ZIP+4, carrier route, and five-digit coding. When choosing a vendor to process your mail, you want to make sure they are CASS certified. CASS Certification must be renewed annually with the USPS to meet current CASS Certification cycle requirements.
For more information on CASS Certification, visit the address management section of the USPS web site. CASS software will correct and standardize addresses. It will also add missing address information, such as ZIP codes, cities, and states to ensure the address is complete. Any mailing claimed at an automation rate must be produced from address lists properly matched and coded with CASS-certified address matching methods.