Posted: Sep 27, 2011
Verso from Valassis set to make couponing more streamlined
Valassis Ltd, the UK’s leading coupon and voucher services provider, today launches VERSO – Valassis Electronic Redemption Solution – a real-time, electronic clearing platform for both digital and traditional paper-based coupons. VERSO speeds up and streamlines the coupon processing cycle for retailers, provides brands with better marketing information to optimise coupon campaigns and helps to eliminate misredemption through real-time validation.
The VERSO platform can be easily integrated with any retailer’s EPOS system and some systems are already configured to interface with the VERSO plug-in. This enables the entire coupon validation and redemption process to be automated, rather than it being the responsibility of supermarket till operators and individual stores. Key to VERSO is its ability to validate in real-time the coupon against the product being promoted. Such validation rarely happens today and is a big factor in the high levels of misredemption currently experienced. VERSO enables coupon validation by accessing Valassis’ Offer Masterfile, which contains details of just about every valid coupon in existence.
By providing a secure framework for digital coupon redemption, VERSO will give retailers, manufacturers and consumers alike the confidence to embrace new and emerging digital promotions and offers in the future, such as coupons to loyalty cards, mobile coupons, location-based services and the latest NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.
Neil Bonsor, european technology solutions director at Valassis comments, “The introduction of e-clearing brings with it many benefits for all parties involved in couponing and we anticipate that it will be widely adopted as an innovation across Europe in the coming years. Using VERSO, the coupon processing cycle is considerably shorter for retailers and the financial settlement process between coupon issuers and retailers can be much quicker, whilst coupon issuers can increase their financial return by eliminating misredemption. Coupon issuers will also have faster access to redemption data allowing them to maximise the effectiveness of their coupon campaigns.”
Bonsor continues, “By eliminating the need for coupon transportation from the retailer to a clearing house, carbon emissions will be significantly reduced as will back office cash reconciliation and administration costs. The e-clearing process also minimises fraud on retailers’ own-branded coupons.”
The introduction of VERSO paves the way for a series of new digital offerings that Valassis is planning to release in the UK over the next 12 months, building on its experience in the US market where it is already an established digital expert. Indeed, Valassis currently connects over 127 million frequent shopper cardholders in the US to the largest database of digital offers every week, which enables them to redeem offers via their loyalty cards in 7,500 grocery retail stores across the country. Currently, over nine million coupons are downloaded through Valassis’ digital solutions to loyalty cards each month.
Bonsor concludes, “As the market evolves Valassis will continue to remain at the forefront of innovation in the global couponing industry. Our e-clearing solution provides a strategic platform that will facilitate the launch of some exciting digital products and services in the UK, including location-based mobile couponing solutions, offers loaded directly to customers’ loyalty cards through the web and the introduction of NFC coupon technology.”