New App Lets Consumers Use Plastic Gift Cards From Mobile Phones
By Deanna Ting
December 13, 2012
The recently launched Gyft mobile app from Gyft, Inc
, makes it easier for gift card recipients to manage all of their gift cards from a single mobile interface. With the downloadable app, consumers can actually upload existing plastic gift cards to their mobile phones and it also allows them to send new gift cards via Facebook, email, or text message.
“Gift cards allow anyone to purchase the ideal gift, but practically speaking, they’re very problematic,” says Gyft CEO and co-founder Vinny Lingham. “Gyft changes that by bringing all of consumers’ gift card needs into one easy-to-use mobile interface.”
Currently, Gyft supports more than 100 retailers that include Amazon.com, Sephora, Brookstone, and Lowe’s. To add plastic gift cards to their mobile Gyft account, users simply enter the cards’ information which is then stored in their personal “wallets” and can be redeemed in-store or online.
Gyft’s platform also creates a meaningful new revenue channel for brands, allowing retailers togain visibility into the consumers that hold their gift cards. This enables them to offer relevant promotional gift cards based on user demographics and interests to help acquire and retain customers. They can also send reminders and launch special offers to get shoppers into their stores, ensuring that gift cards are redeemed and driving additional sales. Gyft also provides the mechanism to increase consumers’ social engagement with brands.
“Retailers are always searching for new ways to stay in touch with their customers, and Gyft gives them the targeted means to do so,” notes CJ MacDonald, Gyft COO and co-founder. “There is a myth that retailers love the breakage on gift cards. The reality is it’s better for both consumers and retailers when the card is used.”
San Francisco-based Gyft debuted in September 2012 with backing from Google Ventures, Founder Collective, and 500 Startups.
“Gyft has developed a consumer app that leverages the advantages of mobile devices for millions of shoppers,” said Joe Kraus, general partner at Google Ventures. “We look forward to working with the Gyft team to build out an exciting product that addresses a huge market while changing the way consumers and retailers use gift cards.”
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Gyft is currently available to download for free in the iTunes app store or via www.gyft.com