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At work, I have the option to opt for Sodexo Meal Coupons. The income-tax benefits on these food coupons are good enough a reason to opt for this facility. But the physical-voucher form of these coupons really needs to change — especially when you have card-based equivalents for competition.
It’s a pain to use these physical coupons at merchant outlets. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve patiently waited in queues at retail grocery stores while people ahead in the queue fumble around with these coupons. Once you’re done fumbling around with these coupons, it’s the cashier’s turn to do the fumbling. Count, re-count, discover that the store can’t (or won’t) give you back cash for coupons in excess of the billed amount and other hassles that simply aren’t worth your time and energy.
If I were at Sodexo, I’d immediately switch to issuing card-equivalents. Imagine the cost-savings from printing charges that avoided (and the number of trees saved). Imagine the cost-savings from collection, storage, and other overhead charges avoided. And as one merchant exasperatedly told me: “Settlements would happen in a day and not in twenty days!”
Everyone in the Sodexo ecosystem would be much better off.
D’s office on the other hand issues the convenient card-based equivalent. The card is reloaded in the first week of each month.
Very cleverly, I’ve entered into a your-card-for-my-coupons swap agreement with her. I’ve swapped her card for the physical Sodexo vouchers which I get from my office in the first week of each month and which she then gives to her mom/dad. Her mom/dad luckily has the time, patience, and energy to use them for grocery shopping. Everyone’s happy in this ecosystem.
That said, I’m not sure if the Sodexo Group would read this post and implement my suggestion. But, What do you think?
Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.