Cunningham Electronics is a bank financed independent 3rd party electronic coupon redemption and payment clearing company. We are pleased to announce we have developed and patented the first electronic coupon redemption system in existence that provides an end-to-end coupon system that eliminates coupon fraud.
Coupons are identified by a barcode known as the GS1 DataBar that is printed on the coupon. The GS1 DataBar contains the data required to redeem the coupon and is currently used by the industry for that purpose. Because of the ease in which it can be counterfeited Coupon Fraud has become the nemesis of the coupon industry. The industry is also plagued with the fact that retailers have no positive means of detecting fraudulent coupons and as a result redeem counterfeit coupons for which the manufacturer will not pay. Our system eliminates both of these problems.
Key to the ability to eliminate coupon fraud is a positive coupon file of all coupons that are distributed for the customer’s selection. To establish a positive file for both paper and digital coupons we provide coupon issuers and their distributors a secure website where they can register the DataBar of the coupons they distribute. The registration process provides the anonymity required to prevent issuers from viewing registered coupons other than their own. The website provide a seamless transition from paper to digital coupons. We decode the DataBars to obtain the purchase requirements for each coupon and establish and maintain a Purchase Requirement File for coupon redemption with the DataBar as the coupon identifier. Our coupon processor located in each store access the Purchase Requirement File daily to refresh their ability to redeem current coupons.
While the guidelines for redeeming digital coupons have not been approved, we have applied the DataBar for paper coupons to the digital coupons in the redemption process. Digital and paper coupons have the same offer structure only presented in different form. GS1 differentiates between the two by assigning Application Identifier 8110 to paper coupons and 8112 to digital coupons.
We provide a special Coupon Processing Appliance (CPA) that connects to the store’s point-of-sale (POS) system to exchange data to redeem coupons. The CPA has a lockbox and a built-in scanner that operates motorized rollers to allow coupons to be stored in the lockbox. The CPA is located in the store office.
When a customer presents a coupon at checkout the POS system transmits the customer’s purchases and the coupon’s DataBar to the CPA for redemption. The CPA verifies that the coupon DataBar is listed in the Purchase Requirements file then insures the coupon has met all of the purchase requirements. Duplicate coupons are not accepted.
Redeemed coupon transactions are held in abeyance by the CPA until they are released by the lockbox authenticated security process. We only redeem coupons issued by legitimate CPG Manufacturers who authorize participation in the effort to eliminate coupon fraud. All other coupons are considered counterfeit by the CPA.
When the cash drawer is brought to the office for reconciliation redeemed coupons in the cash drawer are scanned by the CPA’s built-in scanner. The scanned DataBar is matched to the cash drawer transaction DataBars being held in abeyance. A match starts the motorized rollers allowing the coupon to be deposited in the lockbox.
This process insures that all coupons in the lockbox have been authenticated by the system. After the coupon has been deposited the transaction is released and copies sent to the Data Center for payment processing and to the store POS system for reconciling coupons in the cash drawer.
Each morning a summary report listing the count and amount of coupon activity the previous day for each of their stores is emailed to the retailer. The report indicates the total amount being transferred to the retailer’s bank account. The retailer is require to have a bank account at the Wells Fargo Bank to facilitate the payment transfer.
ach Monday Morning the store manager or designee runs a “cut-off” card through the CPA to indicate to the system that coupons in the lockbox are being shipped to the clearinghouse. A shipping record is prepared and transmitted to the store’s computer where a copy of the shipping record and a UPS shipping label are printed to facilitate the shipment. The lockbox is unlocked and the coupons with the shipping record are packaged and label applied for shipment to our clearinghouse. A UPS courier will pick up the package for shipment to our clearinghouse before 10:00am that morning.
The clearinghouse sorts and ships the coupons along with an invoice for each shipment to the various manufacturer’s clearinghouses. Payment for coupons in the shipment is due upon receipt.
Contact us at email@example.com