Gyft Inc., which enables businesses as well as consumers to access prepaid gift card programs through Gyft.com, has launched a business-to-business portal that allows companies to order digital gift cards in bulk and email them as part of rewards programs to groups of customers or employees.
“B2B customers have been one of our fastest-growing, strongest segments,” says George Bowen, manager of business development. He adds that businesses of all sizes use the portal to reward and recognize employees as well as send prepaid gift cards to clients as part of customer-engagement programs. “Customer interest and market feedback have very well received the new bulk ordering tool,” he says.
After creating an account on Business.Gyft.com, companies can upload Excel spreadsheets or other types of files of customers or employees. Gyft’s clients can then choose among some 200 retailers providing gift cards through Gyft.com, including Whole Foods Market, The Home Depot Inc. and Target Corp., and set up e-mail blasts to send the chosen cards to recipients.
Gyft’s clients can pay for their cards with ACH bank transfers or wire transfers triggered from placing an order on Business.gyft.com, and they can route orders to a superior authorized to approve purchases. Because the process is digital, managers can track which gift cards are sent and received, and avoid issues surrounding fraud and theft of plastic cards, Bowen says.
“Typically, the way of buying plastic cards or individually buying electronic gift cards involves a lot of overhead and management,” Bowen says. “An administrator has to go down to a Starbucks and then manually distribute the gift cards purchased to employees. There’s a lot of overhead and frictional cost involved in that process, and the physical cards are a liability. Cards may get lost, and there’s no way to track them.”
Gyft’s in-house developers built the new bulk-ordering tool along with a complementary mobile app. The mobile app has been installed approximately 500,000 times for Apple and Android devices, according to the Google Play store. Gyft can also offer bulk pricing on gift cards, depending on the quantity and value of the cards purchased, Bowen says. Buyers can pay through Bitcoin, PayPal, credit card, invoice and Google Wallet.
Gyft charges no fees beyond the value of the purchased gift cards, but it charges retailers a fee for listing their cards; Gyft declines to disclose that fee. “We’re making a big step into the competitive B2B gift card market, which makes up about half of the $124 billion gift card industry,” Gyft co-founder and chief operating officer CJ MacDonald says. “We see our bulk gift card program as another way we are innovating the way people buy, send and redeem gift cards.”
Gyft.com also provides a link to a portal for small merchants who want to set up and sell their own branded digital or plastic gift cards, at Merchant.gyft.com. When a merchant clicks to place an order on that site, Gyft transfers the card buyer to Clover.com, a gift card services network for merchants operated by Gyft’s sister company, Clover Network Inc. Clover charges these merchants a transaction fee every time each time they add value to a prepaid card; Clover sets the fee at 5% of the added value, so that a merchant would pay $5 for setting up a $100 gift card. Clover says it charges merchants no other fees.
Clover Network and Gyft are units of First Data Corp., a major provider of payment card processing services.
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