What is the Royal Mail Postcode Address File?

3 minute read
What is PAF? The Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF) is an up-to-date address database, containing over 30 million UK postal addresses. It has numerous benefits, such as helping to verify addresses in seconds, making online transactions easier and ensuring that mail is delivered efficiently.

This is why PAF is an integral part of Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase. Combining the postal data of millions in the UK with local authority data, Unique Delivery Point Reference Numbers (UDPRN) and X and Y coordinates allows organisations to provide professional services to their customers, helping to increase the number of online sale conversions and lessening the risks of fraud.

Maintaining reliable information

With approximately 90,000 postal workers covering all of the UK’s streets six days a week, Royal Mail are consistently being informed of any changes to addresses and it is estimated that their input contributes to between 3,000-5,000 changes made to Royal Mail’s database every day. Further to this, PAF holds a staggering total of 30,828,292 delivery points across the UK – that’s a lot of address based data!

Having access to reliable postal information is instrumental for any business that takes pride in customer service. So, in order to ensure that information is as accurate and simple to analyse as possible, Royal Mail’s PAF data has been enhanced with Ordnance Survey’s detailed property data, UPRN’s, GeoPlace data and local authority data to form a product called AddressBase.

Who uses Royal Mail Postcode Address File?

Thousands of organisations across the UK use Royal Mail’s PAF within Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase product so that they can improve their business’s efficiency in customer service. Using PAF within AddressBase has many benefits, including:

  • Allowing ecommerce businesses to make transactions easier, decreasing the chance of customers abandoning their shopping carts at checkout
  • Helping with the management of databases
  • Ensuring data is accurate with its up-to-date geographical information
  • Aiding planning and resource allocation
  • Validating customer information and identity

And of course, Ordnance Survey uses the Royal Mail Postcode Address File to supplement our AddressBase products, giving you access to the latest addressing information.

Looking for an address data product?

If you’re looking to improve your organisation’s services with an address data product, Ordnance Survey offers a range of addressing data products to suit your business needs. Combining Royal Mail’s PAF data with local authority data, Ordnance Survey’s address data contains the most accurate information, which is quality assured by GeoPlace – so you can be confident with the knowledge that you have access to the most up-to-date and reliable data.

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey

Our highly accurate geospatial data and printed maps help individuals, governments and companies to understand the world, both in Britain and overseas.

Products and solutions featured in this blog

  • AddressBase

    AddressBase matches 29 million Royal Mail postal address to unique property reference numbers, bringing a new dimension to the matched records.