Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Bar Codes on Printable Coupons To Reduce Coupon Fraud

DataBar Coupon Example

The acceptance of coupons has become commonplace for many retailers. To improve efficiency and accuracy, barcode symbols are included on the face of the coupon. The information below discusses the most common symbol used by many world-wide retailers. There are some stores that utilize proprietary symbols, such as Sears and Blockbuster Video.

The GS1 DataBar Coupon Format

The new DataBar Coupon format will provide manufacturers more options for purchase requirements and values and make it possible to code more complex offers. It will enable the coupon to be validated at checkout to ensure the manufacturer intended the purchase that was made. Ideally, it may reduce mis-redemption.
In addition, retailers would get better scanning accuracy at the POS. More specific coding and fewer human readable elements should reduce mis-redemption, while minimizing the amount of “hard-to-handle” coupons. With the new barcode, retailers will be able to code chain-specific promotions, which now is almost impossible to do. They will also be able to leverage offer tracking and provide improved purchase auditing back to the manufacturers.


  • GS1 Company Prefixes. The existing structure only allows companies with a 6-digit prefix the ability to coupon. The new format can accommodate variable length prefixes.
  • Coupon value codes can now be in any amount up to $999.99, and they are not limited to a table of only 100 possibilities.
  • Precise offer descriptions and validation of offers involving specified quantity purchases can now be expressed.
  • Fraud reduction due to complexity of description and save values. Also, the entire barcode encoded data is not presented in human readable format.
  • Automatic expiration date checking for retailers.
The greater dimensional efficiency combined with the ability to encode additional data opens the doors for creating trade solutions that greater support product identification, traceability, quality control, and more flexible coding for coupon applications. 

Go HERE for more information on the new GS1 bar codes

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