BRITISH military personnel stationed abroad will now be able to shop online with ease following the creation of a new Royal Mail dataset.
Previously, soldiers serving overseas could not take advantage of address validation and auto-fill technology, which makes online purchases easy and prevents deliveries going awry.
However, due to the creation of the Royal Mail British Forces Post Office (BFPO) dataset those serving at bases in Afghanistan, Cyrpus or the Falklands should be able to purchase goods as easily as if they were at home.
“Royal Mail is intensely proud of its strong and enduring links with the armed services and we are delighted we have played our part in implementing this important initiative,” said Mike Newnham, Royal Mail’s chief customer officer.
“We understand how much service personnel and their families based overseas value being able to shop online, and how they will benefit from gaining access to a range of online services too.
“We have been working closely with the BFPO to develop an address and postcode structure consistent with Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File that will provide businesses with the opportunity to make these services available.”
Midlands-based company Postcode Anywhere, which provides address validation services to eCommerce companies, has already adopted the new data.
“Over the years we have received a regular stream of requests for British Forces Post Office data and, until now, have not been able to satisfy them,” said its managing director Guy Mucklow.
“Address validation is an established technology which we now take for granted in the UK when talking to a call centre or ordering goods online.
“But if your address data doesn’t match, the best-case scenario is a lengthy ordering process.”