The normal 12 digit UPC code we normally see on a coupon is nearing its expiration date! Beginning on June 30th, many manufacturers will be removing the 12 digit barcode and leaving the other, longer barcode, called a DataBar barcode.
Some manufacturers have already replaced the standard UPC code with a DataBar barcode. For example, a few recent Sally Hansen coupons had this new barcode. I was worried about it not scanning at the register, but to my surprise, it scanned just fine. I was redeeming this coupon at Target, and this means they have updated their POS system to be compatible with these new barcodes.
The DataBar barcode contains much more information than a UPC code does. For example, it accommodates longer manufacturer identification numbers, which check to see if you purchased the correct item. Also, since there is minimal human readable text, this means the end of barcode decoding!
Retailers that utilize DataBar will experience automatic expiration date checking, reduced cashier intervention and improved scan rates. This means your checkout experience should be much less painful and will be faster.
Of course, in order for these coupons to scan, the retailer would need to update their POS system to accommodate the new barcode. Most major retailers like Target and Walgreens already support DataBar barcodes, with other retailers soon to come.
What do you think about these new barcodes? Let us know in the comments below.