Coupons.com announced today that they are moving away from the coupon-printing plugin in favor of a phone-number authentication system:
Over the course of the coming months, we will be phasing out our coupon printer software. This means that eventually all users who want to print coupons will use our new print functionality, which does not require special software.
What will be different?
In the future, users will no longer need to download our printing software. The only way to print will be through a simple phone number authentication process, which allows users to print from all types of devices (desktop, tablets and mobile phones).
Why is this change occurring?
We are making this change so that our coupons are more accessible for everyone.
How can I prepare for this change?
Please work with your users to encourage them to adopt the new phone number authentication print functionality. More details will be shared with you as they become available.
I believe this is part of Coupons.com parent company Quotient’s efforts to combat fraud by internet printable coupon resellers, which I blogged about earlier this summer. Quotient is also currently involved in a lawsuit against a coupon reseller using multiple Instagram accounts to sell printable coupons.
What does this mean for you? Instead of clicking and sending your Coupons.com coupons to your printer, you will be required to authenticate your device with a phone number capable of receiving a text message before you can print. Some of Coupons.com’s single offers are already using this technology:
Time will tell whether this affects the printable coupon resellers’ ability to print and drain thousands of coupon offers in a short period of time. It will also put an obstacle between people wishing to print coupons who may not have cell phones or text capability. (Don’t laugh — my mom doesn’t text, but she likes to print coupons. I’m sure she’s not alone. )
Free text-to-voice numbers like Google Voice are excluded. For those who might consider using a pay-as-you-go cellphone as your go-to device, consider this caveat from Coupons.com too: “Prepackaged prepaid mobile phones from non-major wireless providers are not supported such as Tracfone, Net10, Consumer Cellular, or any Government issued prepaid phones.”