New Mobile Coupon Standard Receives Widespread Support

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The industry organizations that manage coupon standards, JICC and ACP, are endorsing a new mobile format that enables manufacturer mobile coupons and mitigates fraud for retailers and manufacturers alike.

In an effort to create a more secure and centralized process for coupon authentication and data exchange, the industry organizations that oversee US grocery coupon standards, JICC (Joint Industry Coupon Council) and ACP (Association of Coupon Professionals) have issued an ‘Industry Roadmap’ developed by a workgroup that is represented by leaders and experts in all areas of the coupon industry.

The workgroup was tasked with developing a technical solution to offer a digital universal coupon valid across retailers that would not dramatically change current retailer POS technology and overall processes in place, and also ensure that it can mitigate coupon fraud.

The result of this working group is the development of a new application identifier, AI (8112), and the centralized data exchange to support it, including an AI (8112) Universal Positive Offer File. This will be the first singular coupon solution that crosses mediums, verticals and purchase environments. It can be utilized in paper, mobile or e-commerce executions, and in all retail verticals. This new process gives manufacturers the confidence that regardless of medium, environment or vertical, their coupons will be fraud mitigated and single use executions. The provider of the centralized Universal Positive Offer File is The Coupon Bureau (TCB), a non-profit organization appointed and advised by JICC/ACP.

For manufacturers, this will enable universal mobile delivery and redemption for manufacturer distributed coupons. Having a standardized, industry-wide process for real-time authorization of single-use coupons is an important advancement in order to support innovation and development.

Consumers will benefit from app and wallet compatibility, as well as access to manufacturer coupons that will be redeemable across the retail landscape. Further, as the Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumer behavior, these standards are helping accelerate the movement towards Touchless Couponing.

In an effort to address fraud-related issues in today’s (AI 8110) environment, The Coupon Bureau is also addressing a shorter-term initiative of providing the industry with a turnkey operation to flow manufacturers’ Positive Offer Files to the retailer community. This initiative is intended to solve a counterfeit problem estimated to be >$50 Million and growing, by identifying counterfeit offers at point-of-sale for denial or adjudication by the retailer. This is expected to greatly deter the creation and usage of counterfeit coupons until the 8110 identifier is eventually retired.

Regarding this initiative and fraud mitigation, John Morgan, Executive Director of the Association of Coupon Professionals (ACP), commented, "Counterfeit coupons continue to represent a growing problem for the industry, resulting in significant losses to retailers and manufacturers. Moreover, counterfeiters and fraudsters generally create a negative in-store experience for shoppers by slowing down the check-out process and placing cashiers, and store personnel in difficult situations. The Positive Offer File initiative represents a tremendous breakthrough in stopping counterfeit coupons at the point-of-sale and solving this long-standing problem for both Manufacturers and Retailers."

Industry input, comment and consensus was sought throughout the process. The roadmap for development consists of the following phases:

Phase 1, complete: AI (8112) Lab Testing
Phase 2, in progress: AI (8112) Live in Select Retailers For Pilot
Phase 3, in planning stage: AI (8112) Open Connectivity
Phase 4: After majority retailer connectivity is reached (approximately 70-75%), announce a sunset date for AI (8110).

JICC, ACP, and The Coupon Bureau would like to thank all of the volunteer members and organizations who have participated in developing this new standard and moving the project forward.

For access to the complete Executive Summary and Industry Report, please visit

The JICC works to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the development, distribution and redemption of coupons. It is comprised of retailer and manufacturer executives who oversee coupon programs and is administered by the Consumer Brands Association, FMI, National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Grocers Association.

The Association of Coupon Professionals is an industry trade organization whose manufacturer, retailer and solution provider members, create a forum that fosters expertise, education, and leadership to enrich the development, distribution, and redemption of coupons, ensuring they remain a viable sales and marketing tool.

The Coupon Bureau is a nonprofit, industry managed organization that is responsible for developing and maintaining the Universal Positive Offer File for manufacturer offer promotions.

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