The business case for gift cards is obvious. Various sources will tell you about percentages of gift card amounts not redeemed (some say as high as 30 %), but the bottom-line is that once a gift card is bought, the recipient usually either does not redeem the full value of the card, or will consume the entire amount and spend more at a business location because their gift card balance doesn’t cover their entire purchase. Either way, it’s a win-win.
There are three main components to the process:
Step 1: Customer buys a gift card
Our platform provides you with 2 options. If you already have a shopping cart system, that is already integrated with a payment gateway, you can simply use our API to get a new card created in the system.
If you don’t already have a shopping cart, use ours ! We have a ready-made shopping cart that integrates with our partner’s systems (Bambora and Forte) – you can either point your users to our shopping cart (there are ready-made widgets to include on your web site), or you can include it in an “iframe” on your own web site, so as to minimize the chance that your web site visitor leaves your site.
NOTE: Our platform also allows for “top-ups” to existing gift cards.
These are your revenues … new cards bought and top-ups.
Step 2: Customer redeems gift card at a local business
When you sign up for an account with us, you are provided credentials to get into the Dashboard. In the dashboard, you have the capability of creating a location for each local business in your network (alternatively, this can be done via API or via an upload of your current file). The first thing that is done for each location, is to have the system send an e-mail to that location’s e-mail address. That e-mail contains a link that is valid for a specific amount of time, and every device that will be used at that location, needs to be activated by accessing the link in the e-mail. A unique device code is assigned.
Now, when a customer is visiting a local business that is in your network, one of the already activated devices is used to access the gift card redemption screen. You can either enter the card code, or click on the link that the recipient received, or scan a QR code that is in that e-mail, to take you to the redeem screen for that card.
- If the location is integrated with a POS system (see our POS Partners page), that location uses their POS system as they normally do, and when ready, they process the payment using a special payment method.
- Back on the gift card redemption screen, the new payment just added in the POS is shown – the local business simply clicks on a SELECT button to assign the new payment to the redemption.
No POS Integration:
- The redemption screen can display a list of items that the card can be used to “purchase”, in one of two ways:
- Stored items: the location can store the items in the gift card system, along with the prices for those items
- Webhook: a custom webhook URL can be specified to retrieve the list of items dynamically
- If there are no items in the system, you can simply enter a value to redeem from the gift card and the system will keep track. However, if there are items, there are different notifications available to tell you what items were chosen:
- Stored items: you can specify in your settings that you want to get the list of items that were redeemed, via e-mail, every time there’s a redemption
- Webhook: notification is sent by the gift card system to the webhook, so that the receiving system can decide what to do with the information
Step 3: The local business gets paid by you
Our platform keeps track of all the redemptions that have occurred. You can either report on this information and pay those local businesses yourself, OR our gift card system can integrate with an account that you have with a payment services provider … this will result in files that perform EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) or ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions, from your bank account, to the local businesses’ bank accounts, all done automatically.
NOTE: There is of course a lot more to it than the simplified 3 steps above, and the Dashboard provides you with full visibility to all card activity in the system, location and device information for all business locations in your network, API access logs, full financial reporting and reconciliation, and many other features.