6 Gift Card Services for Contactless Gift Giving
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As the coronavirus crisis continues into the holiday season, gift giving will likely involve more digital purchases, contactless payments and social distancing. Digital gift cards can serve as a convenient option that checks all the pandemic-proof boxes this year.
According to a recent LendingTree survey, 22% of shoppers will purchase all gifts online. Online shopping is convenient, but shipping can be a hassle and there is the worry that a physical gift might have to be returned.
That’s where gift cards come in: They are easy to purchase, and allow the recipient to choose their gift. Plus, credit card rewards can be redeemed for gift cards. If you have a stash of points, miles or cash back, you can opt to redeem them and save some money this holiday season.
For those who have not accumulated enough points, or are looking for more flexibility in gift card options, here are six gift card providers that offer digital gift cards:
Yiftee focuses on providing shoppers a convenient way to support local community businesses with Community eGift Cards.
“They are branded for their community and can be spent at tens or hundreds of local shops and restaurants — but only in that community,” said Donna Novitsky, CEO of Yiftee. “Companies buy them as holiday gifts to spread joy to employees and customers, and support their local businesses at the same time. Individuals buy them for friends, family, teachers, coaches and other holiday gift recipients, or themselves, to support local merchants.”
Yiftee recognizes that the flexibility to use the same gift card across local vendors can help companies give to their employees while donating to local businesses, and provide a solution for city governments and chambers to raise holiday revenue for local shops.
Tisbest specializes in charity gift cards and strives to help craft a meaningful gift through a virtual experience.
“Many are rethinking how to celebrate holidays and the usual get-togethers, especially with vulnerable populations like grandparents and other at-risk relatives at home,” said Deepa Garg, marketing director for TisBest. “TisBest Charity Gift Cards have, for years, been available digitally and provided for a memorable shared experience.”
With the option to send an e-card, the Tisbest Charity Gift Card strives to make the gift of giving back contactless and convenient, with 100% of the card value going towards a charity of choice.
GiftCards.com has been around for more than 20 years and aims to continually expand its gift card options. The company strives to provide digital gift cards with the flexibility of more than one store option.
“Among the newest e-gift options are multi-store cards featuring multiple retailers, restaurants and entertainment options on a single card, providing recipients more freedom to choose where to spend their gift,” said Shelley Hunter, consumer guide to gift cards and spokesperson for GiftCards.com.
The GiftCards.com team observed that the most popular categories of gift cards include food delivery, streaming and home design and improvement, so having a multi-store gift card could cover a number of needs.
Prepaid2Cash provides a contactless way to convert gift cards to cash.
“The Prepaid2Cash app makes this contactless process easy for all consumers: All they need to do is download our mobile app,” said John Gushman, co-founder of Prepaid2Cash.
Gushman also noted that the recent rise in contactless retail is something his company has anticipated. “This holiday season, we are preparing for an increase in app-based gift card redemptions, as customers look to avoid physical retailers and cash in their outstanding gift card balances on their mobile devices,” he said.
With an app to access prepaid card and gift card funds and the option to receive cash via direct deposit, Prepaid2Cash strives to make their program convenient and accessible.
eGifter recognizes the difficulties that retailers face this year and works with their retail partners to improve gift card offers to customers.
“We extended holiday cutoffs for digital programs, and have been helping our partners deploy many new features and special offers. We will be running more than 50 special offers across our platform during this holiday season,” said Tyler Roye, co-founder & CEO of eGifter.
eGifter has also observed that digital gift cards provide a way to connect companies to remote employees, help relief organizations support their communities and provide virtual event planners gifts for their guests.
Raise is an app that allows customers to save money with discounted gift cards, earn rewards from in-store and online purchases and get a majority of their gift cards delivered electronically. The company also has a new app, Slide, that helps shoppers use contactless payments to check out in-store purchases while earning cash back.
This holiday season, Raise has seen an increase in demand for gift cards in the following categories: home improvement, tech, outdoor activities, food delivery and retail brands, according to CEO Jay Klauminzer.
Particularly, Klauminzer noted that gaming gift cards have been in high demand: “Tech brands like Google Play, Nintendo eShop, Playstation Network and Xbox Prepaid have also been on the rise, as more people have turned to gaming as a form of at-home entertainment and interestingly, we’ve seen an increase in the purchase of gaming currency gift cards on Raise.”