Creating a Universal Digital Coupon: A to Z

This article will walk you through creating a Universal Digital Coupon, from start to finish. This article is broken into four pieces: Select Vendors, Account Set-up, Creating a Master Offer File, and Settlement and Reporting


For the sake of this article, we have ordered SELECT VENDORS first, but you can set up your account first and then select your vendors. You will need to select an AI (8112) Data set provider (unless you are self-producing your data set), a distribution provider, and a settlement partner (unless you are self-clearing).

If any of these partners will be helping you set up or manage your Master Offer Files, they will to assume the role of Authorized Partner. To learn more about Authorized Partners, click here.

If you need help finding these partners, look here for connected AI (8112) Data set providers, here for distribution providers, and here for settlement partners.


Before executing a Universal Digital Coupon, your organization will need to properly set up its TCB account. Each account is controlled by domain so any members of an organization with an email associated with your organization's domain can be a part of its account. Other's may be connected by way of Authorized Partner.

Account set-up requirements:

  • Set up Brands
  • Assign distribution providers
  • Assign Authorized partners
  • Input Coupon Funder Information

Click here for more detailed instructions.


Once you have selected your AI (8112) dataset provider, they will assist you in creating and depositing your Master Offer File.

See Creating a Master Offer File to learn about the components of a Master Offer File and how to prepare your Master Offer File for launch.

It is a good idea to test both the receipt of a master offer file from a dataset provider and the deposit of a serialized data string from an authorized distribution provider.


Settlement of Universal Digital Coupons uses much of the same settlement processes as load-to-card does. The coupon data is recorded into the POS transaction logs that are sent to the retailer clearinghouse using the Redemption file format based on L2C redemption file, and then the retailer clearinghouse creates invoice files, again, based on L2C invoice files and sends them to the manufacturer agent.

Retailer clearinghouses and Manufacturer Agents alike, have the ability to audit redemption data through connectivity to The Coupon Bureau but connectivity is not required.

Reporting is available within your account. Reporting is real-time and provides time/date stamp on deposited serialized data strings and redemptions, and retailer associated with your redemptions. Reports are available in dashboard form and customizable reports that can be downloaded or emailed.