The Postcode Address File (PAF) is an address data file maintained by the Royal Mail. The PAF file is kept up to date through daily updates made by postal workers – making it the most up to date and complete address database for the UK. The file contains address data such as:
Address data is difficult to keep clean long-term due to the speed in which it decays. The Royal Mail estimate they get an average of 4000-5000 changes to individual records every day. Therefore between house moves and business name changes, address data can quickly become inaccurate. The PAF file removes the risks these changes create, with daily updates covering the whole of the UK.
Having access to the Postal Address File is critical for keeping accurate address data for your mailing messages and demographic analysis of your customer base. Specifically, validating your address data against the PAF will:
Read in more detail how the PAF file and other datasets such as AddressBase Premium and Not Yet Built can be appended to your address data to improve performance.