We Pay Retailers the Next Day for Coupons Redeemed the Day Before
Cunningham Electronics is a bank financed independent third 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 eliminates both internal and external 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 it has become the nemesis of the coupon industry. The industry is also beleaguered with the fact that retailers have no positive means of detecting fraudulent coupons at checkout and as a result retailers redeem counterfeit coupons for which the manufacturer will not pay. Our coupon redemption system eliminates both of these costly shortcomings of the existing system.
Key to the ability to eliminate coupon fraud is a positive coupon file of all coupons that are distributed for the public use. To establish a positive file for both paper and digital coupons we provide the coupon issuers a secure website where they can register the DataBar of the coupons they distribute. The registration process decodes the DataBars to obtain the purchase requirements for each coupon that we use to redeem coupons. We establish and maintain a Purchase Requirement File for coupon redemption with the DataBar as the coupon identifier. Our Coupon Processor Appliance (CPA), located in each store, accesses the Purchase Requirement File daily to maintain the ability to redeem current coupons as they are registered.
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. By processing both digital and paper coupons we provide a seamless transition from paper to digital coupons.
We provide a Coupon Processing Appliance (CPA) that is located in the store office. It has a built in scanner and a motorized shredder. The CPA is connected to the stores point-of-sale system (POS) to exchange data to redeem coupons. It contains the coupon redemption engine and Purchase Requirement File that is needed to redeem coupons. When a customer presents a coupon at checkout the cash register transmits the customer’s purchases and the coupon’s DataBar to the CPA for redemption. Coupons not in the Purchase Requirements File are rejected and duplicate coupons for the same purchase requirements are not accepted. Paper coupons are placed in the cash drawer and redeemed coupon transactions, both paper and digital are held in abeyance until the paper coupons are shredded to prevent their reuse.
Redeemed coupon transactions are held in abeyance by the CPA. When the cash drawer is brought to the office for reconciliation, the redeemed coupons in the cash drawer are scanned and shredded by the CPA’s built-in scanner and shredder. The CPA interacts with the POS to verify that the cash drawer transactions match the transactions held in abeyance by the CPA to insure that the customer received the correct amount of discount and that the paper coupons have been shredded. Any discrepancies are reported and the verified, authenticated coupon transactions are released and sent to the Data Center in the cloud. A report is transmitted to the store computer listing any discrepancies and the count and amount of coupons for the cash drawer reconciliation. This process insures that all paper coupons were shredded and that all transactions reported have been authenticated by the system.
Each morning a summary report of coupons processed the previous day for each store is sent to the retailer. The report indicates the total amount being transferred to the retailer’s bank account. The retailer is required to have a bank account at the Wells Fargo Bank to facilitate the payment transfer.
Each morning Manufacturers will receive a daily summary report for the count and amount for each of their coupons that were processed the day before and will receive a statement on the 1st and 15th of each month with payment due upon receipt. Payments are to be made to our account at the Wells Fargo Bank.
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