How The Coupon Bureau is Cutting Down on Fraud and Unlocking Mobile Couponing

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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The Coupon Bureau is giving retailers more visibility into — and control over — their coupon events.

The non-profit corporation, which works a range of coupon and retail associations, will now use the Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) from Hedera Hashgraph for a real-time, tamper-proof log for all coupon events on its platform. It’s also released a new coupon application type to enable a singular offer file for retailer-agnostic mobile coupons.

As a distributed public and immutable ledger that provides a real-time log for all coupon events, HCS serves as a next-generation blockchain technology. Using this technology, The Coupon Bureau’s platform now gives coupon providers, manufacturers, clearinghouses and retailers the ability to validate when coupons are registered and redeemed on the platform — in real time.

Approximately 250 billion coupons are issued in the U.S. annually, noted Mance Harmon, Hedera Hashgraph CEO, often through different providers. As such, consumers can redeem multiple versions of the same offer, costing brands millions of dollars.

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Brandi Johnson, The Coupon Bureau CEO, said the platform will enable real-time validated, retailer-agnostic manufacturer coupons to support smarter and more strategic campaigns, mitigate fraud and simplify the redemption and reconciliation processes. It will also support all stakeholders in the coupon ecosystem while maintaining their current business models.

The Coupon Bureau’s advisory committee includes members from Target, General Mills and GS1, and it works with leading consumer goods companies’ coupon-issuing brands, as well as with accelerators providing access to point-of-sale systems at retailers representing almost 70% of the U.S. retail market.  It aims to have a connected retail store within 5 miles of any consumer inside the continental United States within 12 months of deployment of its system.

In addition to its new platform, The Coupon Bureau also recently released a new coupon application type to enable a singular offer file for retailer-agnostic mobile coupons.

The Application Identifier (AI) (8112) Coupon Data Specifications enable a singular offer file for retailer-agnostic mobile coupons. It was released by The Coupon Bureau in association with the Joint Industry Coupon Council (JICC) and with support from such partner organizations as the Consumer Brands Association, FMI, GS1 and the Association of Coupon Professionals.

The new offer type uses real-time authorization to provide brand manufacturers with more consolidated and secure promotions on a national level.  It also includes Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)-level validation, real-time redemption data and improved functionality for media distribution.

For retailers, AI (8112) allows a single connection to a universal offer file, as well as increased access to national manufacturer offers.

Offer acceptance and rejection are automated, thus decreasing store associate and consumer friction. Consumers, meanwhile, will have access to mobile coupons that can be redeemed at any connected retailer.

This story was originally published on CGT.