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Gift cards have been a staple of the holidays for years, and one company is looking to take them even further as the perfect present for friends and family. InComm is a leader in the market of prepaid cards, and sees extraordinary potential in the industry going forward. The brand is now taking steps to bring gift cards into the digital space.
In a new partnership with eBay, InComm has opened a new digital storefront from which to sell physical gift cards. The storefront, called Cardency, is open now and will offer shoppers the chance to order gift cards for no processing fees and a minimal shipping fee of $1. InComm is already looking to expand their partnership with the ecommerce giant.
“We will continue to work with eBay to grow the gift card catalog on the Cardency store,” Mike Fletcher, General Manager at InComm Digital Solutions, told Loyalty360. “There are a number of opportunities to expand this offering and we anticipate making a much broader offering of products and promotions available over time.”
In addition to the traditional gift cards found on Cardency, the company caters to a rapidly growing segment of consumers seeking digital prepaid cards. According to a report from the company, 90% of consumers age 18-25 are more interested in digital/mobile gift cards compared to previous years. InComm recognizes the rising market, and sees no end in sight for the growth of these new products, but understands that the digital craze is still in its early stages.
“Digital is nowhere near its peak. It’s a big part of our business at InComm Digital,” Fletcher added. “That being said, digital represents a very small percentage of the overall gift card market today. Physical gift cards are well established in the market place with consumers and demand continues to rise. Both sides of our business, digital and physical, are growing at InComm and we expect that trend to continue.”
Why are digital cards starting to become the preference over their physical counterparts? According to the report, 63% of people cited security as a consideration, but Fletcher offers another explanation for the switch.
“Our surveys and the anecdotal evidence we see suggests that the primary reason for the rise in popularity of digital is related to convenience and speed of delivery. Security is a driver, but I would stop short of calling it the primary factor,” Fletcher said.
In perhaps the most surprising statistic of all, the survey notes that 41% of participants would choose prepaid cards over anything, including cash, as a loyalty reward. This substantial portion of consumers paints a very promising picture of the prepaid industry going forward.
“Cash is still king, however, prepaid cards have a number of benefits that consumers appreciate,” Fletcher explained. “Receiving a gift card that can be spent on something outside of the day-to-day routine of life is appreciated. Buying something with loyalty points that you wouldn’t have purchased otherwise is generally a positive and memorable experience for consumers. Many gift cards allow the consumer to be very selective as to what exactly that item ends up being, while at the same time being somewhat specific and holding the consumer to making that purchase as opposed to having the funds go into their general budget. Many of our partners who run loyalty programs work hard to create an aspirational and memorable experience for the consumer. Gift cards can play a very effective role in reaching that objective.”
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