Tuesday, November 26th, 2019, 9:54:31 AM
There is a fine distinction between vouchers and coupons, nowadays. A voucher is basically a piece of (electronic) paper that is redeemable in a given currency & has a certain monetary value. A coupon is a synonym to a piece of (electronic) paper that offers its holder a discount to a certain good or service, more often than not.
However, if we go back in history, this fine distinction is becoming more and more blurred & usually, vouchers and coupons are interchangeable. That is why it’s necessary to look at both terms when we want to find the answers to some very interesting questions: who created the first coupons/vouchers? When did it happen? What sparked the online revolution?
If we research the history of coupons, we may find many links pointing to the same event, back in the 19th century.
It was 1887 and Atlanta businessman Asa Candler just thought of a unique way to advertise his new beverage. He took pieces of paper and hand wrote arguably the first-ever coupons used in retail. Those pieces of paper were worth a glass of Coca Cola each, which cost 5 cents at that time. Company’s employees and sales agents started distributing the coupons and many were mailed to households or placed in different sales points.
According to TIME Magazine, between 1894 and 1913, an estimated 8.5 million FREE glasses of Coca Cola were served in the United States.
On the other hand, according to some, vouchers have their own parallel history that takes us to the 1960s when economist Milton Friedman introduced to the world the term “education voucher” meant to be used by young adults who didn’t have the means to support themselves through college.
Nevertheless, similar propositions were made way before Friedman and the modern times, for example in 1791 in Thomas Paine’s work “Rights of Man: Being an Answer to Mr. Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution.” In his paper, Paine explained the need ‘to allow for each of these children [coming from poor families] ten shillings a year [half a pound] for the expense of schooling, for six years each.’
Coca Cola started the revolution and by the mid 20th century, most retailers in the US were using the coupon/voucher method to attract new customers. Many of these vouchers were printed in newspapers while some were handed to buyers who purchased goods of a specific value.
Soon enough, the tourism industry embraced vouchers as a convenient way to do business and to link the service providers with the tourists. All the operators had to do was offer vouchers to the customers that could be redeemed by hotels or restaurants, depending on the given value.
The 1990s online revolution sparked the popularity of vouchers and coupons all over the world. There was no need to print them; the retailers thought of a code or PIN that could automatically give the customer a discount or cashback for a future purchase.
Moreover, the 1990s also brought the mobile revolution that took the voucher system to a whole new level of popularity. The vouchers used for SIM card purposes are pieces of paper with a code that a mobile phone user can use to recharge his/her SIM with the value he/she paid when purchasing that voucher.
A neat system that would soon disrupt the entire online payment industry…
As online purchases skyrocketed in the late 90s & as more industries were establishing an online connection, the need for a quick and simple online payment method soon become a necessity.
In 2000, a group of four friends saw the opportunity the online environment was offering and established paysafecard, “cash for the Internet” as they called it back then.
From their homeland Austria, they soon expanded to Germany and by 2002, they already offered not only the traditional physical card, but also the now notorious paysafecard eVouchers, the printed pieces of paper with a 16-digit PIN - all unique - and all redeemable for cash at the partner shops & many other service providers.
Eventually, paysafecard expanded throughout all Europe and most of the world, becoming a very popular payment processor for the gaming industry.
Not long after paysafecard launched its eVouchers, Neosurf was founded in France, in 2004. Like paysafecard, the founders saw the opportunity that was in front of them and took advantage immediately. The company launched its own eVoucher payment method with a 10-character code that can be redeemed online at most online shops & on most gaming platforms.
Nowadays, Neosurf is the best up-to-date alternative to any eVouchers you may have used in the past as it offers the same convenience and more. You can purchase Neosurf vouchers from any point of sale from Australia and New Zealand to anywhere in Europe, Canada & the US.
The unique 10-character code can be used on many casino platforms, with many payment services, on most popular gaming networks, and more.
Start using Neosurf today and never look back ever again!