It’s Time to Do Away with Traditional Coupons and Place Them on the Blockchain

You never change things by fighting the existing reality; to change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller, 20th-century architect and theorist

Blockchain tech allows business transactions to be secure in a world where everything from your Facebook profile to your entire business model can be hacked. But it’s the unseen fraud and tactics that go unnoticed which companies and security experts need to worry about as well.

Too Costly and Burdensome

For those who still receive the Sunday newspaper, there is still the excitement of all those coupons you get to clip for upcoming sales. But for most people these days, it’s all about pulling deals up on your phone or email. According to a Business Wire report, as of April 2017, of the 293 billion coupons distributed across the US, 1.3% of them were digital, while the rest were paper. It is extremely costly and tedious for parties to spend the time planning, creating, and managing the distribution of all those coupons. On average, paper coupons typically cost two to four times more than digital coupons do.

A recently-launched blockchain platform, A7 Core, is addressing issues affecting the coupon industry, aiming to reduce the cost of creating, distributing, funding, and managing digital coupons for brands and retailers while providing highly effective fraud control.

Evaluating a Coupon’s Lifespan

Did you know US millennials are emerging as heavy users of coupons? So much so that they are even willing to search non-traditional sites to find them. The average coupon campaign has a lifespan of six months and takes an additional 90 days to ensure appropriate tracking. Why? First, you’re looking at a physical document, which almost always gets lost in stacks of papers and ends up in the garbage, or is even utilized way after its expiration date. When it comes to accounting liability, the industry spends approximately $45 billion per month on traditional coupons.

As for digital coupons, they are easily accessible and almost unforgettable, whether they come through email offers or mobile apps or services like RetailMeNot. It’s time to transition from paper to the digital space, as consumer-packaged goods would cost significantly less without all the intermediaries and clearinghouses.


Did you know that coupon fraud costs business owners almost $600 million a year?

Within the coupon industry, fraud has the potential to rampantly scale with digital,” says Will Parker, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of A7 Core. “It’s already a major concern because over the past two decades, many industries have been completely disrupted by this digital revolution; however, coupons remain relatively unchanged.”

Streamlining The Coupon Creation Process

Currently, for companies to have coupons created and distributed, each coupon involves multiple entities, including clearinghouses. There can be anywhere from six to ten different entities touching a digital coupon from inception to redemption. With each party comes an additional increase in cost, friction, and risk of error or fraud.

In order to reduce operational costs, the middleman needs to go. Casting aside the operational inefficiencies, companies need to focus on repairing the lack of data management and AI systems in the traditional coupon model.

“E-commerce retailers can provide recommendations and unique pricing based on past purchases,” says Parker. “Why would Coca-Cola offer two people the same discount when one buys five cans a day and the other hasn’t purchased a Coke product in six months? Many brick-and-mortar options force Coca-Cola to push universal coupons to market.

“A blockchain-managed ecosystem can house historical consumer purchase data and not only recommend discounts based on past purchases but dynamically price them based on the highest ROI for brands.”