What is a gift card?
A gift card (also known as gift certificate gift voucher, gift token) is a prepaid stored-value money card usually issued by retailer or bank to be used as an alternative to cash for purchases within a particular store or related businesses.
Gift cards can also be custom tailored to meet specific needs. By adding a custom message or name on the front of the card, it can make for an individualized gift or incentive to an employee to show how great they are appreciated.
How does it work?
Mobile gift cards are delivered to mobile phones via email or SMS and phone apps allow users to carry only their cell phone. Benefits include tying them to a particular phone number and ease of distribution.
Virtual gift cards are delivered via e-mail to the recipient, the benefits being that they cannot be lost and that the consumer does not have to drive to the bricks and mortar location to purchase a gift card.
Other companies have introduced virtual gift cards that users redeem on their smartphones. As the merchant is not involved in the loop, it is considered a cash transfer rather than a traditional gift card.