Gift cards

Gift cards are a prepaid stored-value money card. Issuers can be merchants, such as retailers or restaurants, or banks. Gift cards are generally redeemable only for purchases at the issuing merchant’s and cannot be cashed out.  Expiry date or fees may also be applicable. They can be given out as part of a marketing action or purchased.

How do gift cards work?

While gift certificates used to come in paper format, most locations nowadays used cards similar to credit cards. The cards are identified with a unique code, which is backed by an online system for authorization. The cards can feature a barcode, a magnetic stripe and/or a chip. Usually, value will be loaded onto the gift cards by the cashier at the moment of purchase. Gift cards can be single use or reloadable for multiple uses.

Mobile and virtual gift cards

Alternatively, mobile and virtual gift cards can be used. Mobile gift cards will be sent to a mobile phone either via email, SMS or an app. Virtual gift cards are usually delivered through email and can be printed out.