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Coupon Code Basics

UCC and EAN Coupon Codes

UCC Prefix (NSC): Formerly called the number system character (NSC), a UCC Prefix of 5 is used as a coupon identifier and is the first number that appears to the left of the UPC-A Bar Code Symbol. All coupons must begin with a UCC Prefix (NSC) of 5, regardless of the UCC Prefix that appears on the member's products, in order to identify the coupon to the point-of-sale system.

EAN/UCC Prefix: Some retailers need a unique way to distinguish manufacturer coupons that are distributed in the stores, such as coupons distributed on store shelves or at the checkstand. In-store coupons do not include retailer issued in-ad coupons or manufacturer issued on-pack coupons, such as instant redeemable (peel off) coupons. Do not use this option for coupons in newspaper free standing inserts (FSIs) or for any other coupon that is not distributed in the store. The "99" Prefix is also used for non-doubling coupons.

UCC Company Prefix (EAN.UCC): The next five numbers following the UCC Prefix (NSC) on a coupon bar code symbol correspond to positions two through six of the UCC Company Prefix. This number not only identifies the manufacturer of the couponed item, but also serves an important role in purchase validation at the checkout. The portion of the UCC Company Prefix on the coupon must match positions two through six of the UCC Company Prefix on the product that is being couponed, regardless of who is issuing or paying for the coupon.

Family Code: On a coupon bar code symbol, the three digits following positions two through six of the UCC Company Prefix are the Family Code. This number, combined with the UCC Company Prefix, is the key to validating that the consumer has purchased the couponed product. It is the manufacturer's responsibility to assign Family Codes to their own products and to communicate Family Codes to retailers. Communication may be done directly or through a third-party service. The topic of Family Codes can be very extensive. For this reason, please call us for more information.

Value Code: The two-digit field following the three-digit Family Code designates the redemption value of the coupon in dollars and cents. Some numbers are a direct representation of face values (for example, code number 10 represents a 10 cent coupon value) and some are not (such as code number 83 represents a $2.25 coupon value).

Click Here for Value Code Table (in sequence by Face Value)
Click Here for Value Code Table (in sequence by Value Code)

Checker Intervention Code: Avoid the use of the Value Code 00. The Value Code 00 has been reserved for checker intervention. A coupon employing 00 in the Value Code field does not trigger an automatic deduction of a face value from the customer's order. Instead, the checker must manually enter the value amount. Because of the manual handling implied by its use, this code should only be used when no other Value Code could apply and should be used only as a last resort. Checker intervention through the use of Value Code 00 degrades point-of-sale efficiency.

Check Digit: The last digit in the UCC Coupon Code is the Check Digit. It appears to the right of the bar code. The Check Digit is calculated from all the other digits in the bar code symbol and it changes as the UCC Coupon Code Number changes. The Check Digit is always in the bar code symbol, in the bars and spaces, and, it is also required in the human readable interpretation under the bar code. Scanners use the Check Digit to ensure that the numbers it has read are the correct numbers.

UCC/EAN Coupon Extended Code: The Joint Industry Coupon Committee has determined that there is a need to bar code additional information not contained in the current UCC Coupon Code. Information such as Offer Codes and household ID Numbers can now be included in bar code symbols for coupons. This can be done through the use of the standard UCC/EAN-128 Coupon Extended Code. Please note that the UCC requires the use of the UCC/EAN-128 Coupon Extended Code in conjunction with the UCC Coupon Code.

Format 1 - Includes First Digit of Company Prefix NSC and 5-Digit Offer Code UCC Coupon Code Format 1
Format 2 - Includes First Digit of Company Prefix, 5-Digit Offer Code and Expiration Date UCC Coupon Code Format 2
Format 3 - Includes First Digit of Company Prefix, 5-Digit Offer Code and Household ID UCC Coupon Code Format 3
Format 4 - Includes First Digit of Company Prefix, 5-Digit Offer Code, Expiration Date and Household ID UCC Coupon Code Format 4
Format 5 - (NULL CODE) Includes First Digit of Company Prefix and is the minimum requirement for the UCC/EAN-128 Coupon Extended Code. UCC Coupon Code Format 5

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