Everyone loves a gift card.

What isn’t there to like about them? You get the choice to purchase whatever you want and someone else has already paid for it.

Retailers love them as well as they are a great opportunity to gain some added sales.

With Christmas approaching, the rush to purchase presents will begin and gift card purchases will be a big ticket item once again.

For what appears as a very simple task, managing gift cars is actually one of the most complex procedures for a POS solution.

Unlike most other sales in retail, you are selling credit for use at a later date. Therefore, the retailer has to process the sale for the card and then be able to allocate the value of the card against a future sale at some point in time. The recipient of the card may not use the entire value of the card in one go so the system must remember how much is still remaining.

Imagine the complexity when you throw gift cards into the omnichannel retailing environment?

Of course technology has found solutions to this problem but now gift cards are being taken to a new level otherwise known as “Digital”.

Digital gift cards are a reality. As the name suggests you no longer need to be given a physical card to identify a recipient. Now a gift card can be purchased and sent to the recipient’s mobile phone. When the recipient visits the store to use their card, the store will scan the card on the phone and process the sale.

The iVend retail solution from CitiXsys offers these great features with cards integrating with the Apple Passbook app or iVend Passes app for Android.

The advantage of digital gift cards are on both the retailer and customers sides.

The retailer no longer has the added expense of printing gift cards. Identifying gift card recipients is simple with a quick scan of a barcode off a mobile phone. As the card is now digital, other gift card aspects can also be made digital such as allowing recipients to see what value they have left on their cards.

For the recipient of a gift card, they no longer need to store a printed card which can easily be lost or forgotten. They have greater visibility as to the value left on their cards. If they receive multiple cards, they can all be housed in one place in their phone. As the card is digital it also can be used for online purchases as well.

Purchasing a gift card for someone can also be made more simple with the ability to purchase a card online and it being delivered electronically.

So now there really is no excuse for missing out on buying that special gift thanks to digital gift cards.

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