Groupon Currency May Be Accepted by Retailers, but Is Anyone Cashing in?

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In order to facilitate the social buying experience, Groupon told Businessweek that they are talking with electronic-payment systems to allow Groupons to be accepted as currency just like debit and credit cards. Among the features, the company is playing with the idea of creating a Groupon button for faster transactions. They plan to start testing with cash registers, but with no timeline posted, there’s no indication when we might be able to take advantage of print-to-pay.

“We are in an evaluation mode,” President Rob Solomon said to Businessweek. “Test and learn is the best way to do this.”

It would help if they did make it easier for cashiers to accept vouchers from the company, which has 60 million users worldwide. I always feel bad when the person behind the register has to punch in a long string of numbers so I can get my discount – when I eventually get around to taking advantage of my deal. I’m guilty of buying more Groupons than I can use and letting them expire. Even though you can still get the value you paid (minus the bonus deal) past the use-by date, I still haven’t gotten around to eating at that restaurant in Harlem that I bought a certificate for over a year ago.

I’m not alone: points out how social buying voucher resellers are cashing in on the fact that people don’t use their social buying deals. According to a YipIt survey, up to 20 percent of deals go uncashed. Sites like Lifesta and CoupRecoup let you resell those coupons you don’t use for a little fee or no fee to people who will use them (ha doubtful!). If you can check out those sites, you’ll see that quite a lot of people are regretting their decisions.

I have to admit: That deal for $50 for a $100 Travelocity gift certificate being resold sounds quite tempting. But when will I have the time – and money – to take a vacation? I guess I could buy it and save it for when I nee – NO! Must. Resist. Urge.

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