AOL is set to launch an coupons programme allowing users to save money on online purchases with selected etailers.

Dubbed AOL Shortcuts, the project will mimic real-world coupons promotions, but will instead ask consumers to click web ads in order to receive offers.

Offers will be stored in a personal online account with which customers register their existing store loyalty card accounts.

For example, if a consumer has preloaded Shortcuts with their Debenhams card details, Debenhams could entice surfers with banner ads that deposit the offers in their account, which can then be redeemed at check-out.

Consumers will then be able to reap the rewards even when presenting their store card in bricks-and-mortar shops.

AOL is courting retailers with claims the paperless coupons offer branding and marketing opportunities.

The portal giant is offering stores tracking and reporting of consumer behaviour and page impressions.

AOL brand marketing director Michael Lawless told Advertising Age the company had two major retailers lined up, but it remains to be seen whether AOL can coax enough retailers in to the scheme that it will be a success.