Technology provider ICoupon claimed the project would be the first step towards rendering paper money-off coupons obsolete. And it predicted that more than a million consumers would be signed up to the scheme by the middle of 2005.
Pilot schemes will be running between now and launch, with northern-based chain Jacksons kicking off testing at its Doncaster store next week.
Running on the EPoS scanning system, consumers will be sent barcoded coupons to their mobile phones for money off a list of products. Once at the checkout, they will simply hand over their phone for scanning to claim a rebate.
Marc Lewis, founder of ICoupon, which has filed patents for its MBarGo system of electronic vouchers, said it would be kicking off the nationwide launch by linking up with a big tabloid newspaper partner to urge consumers to sign up.
Among the other retailers taking part are Virgin and “two high street health and beauty retailers”, said Lewis.
Talks are also ongoing with other multiple chains and Lewis predicted that more than 3,000 stores would be involved by the launch date.
ICoupon is also touting for manufacturers to take part and aims to offer exclusivity deals to brands in 400 categories.