by Deanna Ting | March 05, 2014
Victoria, Canada-based digital gift card company Kiind is launching a new turnkey, digital gift card solution for retailers and e-commerce merchants called Merchant Service. 

The new platform, which is scheduled to roll out later in the spring, was created to respond to retailers and brands who want their own digital pay-on-use gift card programs without having to create their own from scratch. Using Merchant Service, they can now offer fully branded digital gift cards on their own websites, and because the gift cards are only paid out upon use, they also address challenges related to tax and accounting issues.

“We have retail brands across North America lining up for this. They are tired of the headaches of doing their own cards and the hassle of accounting for breakage with prepaid cards,” said Kiind co-founder and CEO Leif Baradoy. Breakage refers to amounts that go unredeemed from pre-paid gift cards, which are often thought to be a cash bonanza for retailers but can actually cause problems related to accounting issues. “It’s a natural extension of our digital pay-on-use solution to provide a retailer solution with Merchant Service.”

Baradoy adds, "This new Merchant Service opens up new inventory and new options for people using Kiind for incentives, and it also allows us to partner up with additional incentive programs to offer unique and previously unavailable inventory to those businesses. So, it's a great fit for incentive companies, too."

Kiind's pay-on-use gift cards, which were launched in 2013, make it possible to send a digital gift card where the giver isn’t charged until the recipient redeems it. North American brands that currently use the platform include Nike, Home Depot, Sephora, Columbia Sportswear, Tony Roma’s, and Red Robin’s. 

Kiind's digital gifting strategy is also a direct response to the use of traditional prepaid retail gift cards. “Our new Merchant Service makes life easy for retailers and brands and is the next step in our quest to pick a fight with prepaid retail gift cards,” said Baradoy. “They’re a waste of plastic, packaging, and money when they don’t get used. Retailers know it, and so do consumers. One day we’ll look back and plastic cards will be an extinct collector’s item. Launching our simple-to-incorporate Merchant Service for retailers is a step in that direction.”