Many retailers require that in-store distributed coupons (i.e., the ones that are distributed on store shelves or at the check out) be differentiated from widely-distributed coupons (commonly called FSI, the type you cut out of the paper). The bar code used for these coupons is similar to the UPC coupon bar code, with three notable differences:


The code language is EAN, rather than UPC


The EAN language is read as a thirteen-digit bar code. Standard UPC coupon codes are only twelve digits. In most countries other than the United States, EAN codes are the de facto norm. In America, the only other place EAN codes are used is in the book industry – ISBN bar codes are a type of EAN. Smaller retailers who may not have EAN-compatible scanners may not be able to read these bar codes.


The Number System Character is ‘99’ rather than ‘5’


Rather than the five used in standard UPC coupon bar codes, the EAN-99 bar codes start with, appropriately enough, 99. The first nine is outside of the left guard bar; the second nine is inside the bars. The rest of the numbering structure of the code is identical to the UPC coupon code.


The check digit is the EAN-13 check digit, rather than the UPC check digit


In addition to the different algorithms used to calculate the numbers, the check digit also lies inside the rear guard bar of the code, rather than outside the bar as the UPC check digit lies.

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