Understanding gift cards and their origins
A gift card is a card that has a balance that can be used to shop for certain outlets. Typically, gift cards are issued by the store, bank, or related business. Gift cards are known as gift certificates in North America. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, gift cards are also referred to as gift tokens. Because you have a certain balance, as written on the gift card, you can spend the gift card as long as it doesn’t exceed the predetermined nominal.
You can get gift card, gift certificate, or gift token in various way. Retailers and marketers often include gift cards as part of their advertising campaigns as a promotional strategy. Today, gift cards are popular as a marketing strategy called cashback. Gift cards can also be given to employees or an organization as gifts.
After getting gift cards, gift card holders can use them to shop at designated stores. Gift cards are non-cashable. In some cases, gift cards have a deadline so you can’t use them past that deadline. Some gift cards also have fees.
Despite all its limitations, gift cards have an edge because of their anonymous nature. This means that anyone, as long as they are subject to the terms and conditions, can use gift cards. There are gift cards that are single-use and some can be used until the value runs out. From the point of view of gift card buyers, the card is a form of gift that will be given to others. On several occasions, giving gifts of cash was not considered socially acceptable. For this occasion, you can give the person a gift card in lieu of a cash prize.
The person who first introduced the gift card mechanism was Neiman Marcus. He introduced this magic card around the end of 1994. Only then, Blockbuster Entertainment acted as the first large company to popularize gift cards on a large scale. Blockbuster conducted test marketing in 1995 and officially released it the following year. Nabanco is the first third party company to process gift cards using an existing payment infrastructure. Marcus and Blockbuster’s steps were then followed by Mobil and Kmart.
What’s in a gift card?
You will likely find a serial number, barcode, magnetic strip, or other form of electronic authorization on a gift card. Some gift cards can be topped up with balance as you wish so they can be used more than once. Other cards do not have a certain amount until you tell the cashier how much balance you want to top up the card.
Along with technological developments, gift cards are now also online / mobile. Mobile gift cards are sent to your device via SMS or email. Then, the appropriate phone application can read and identify the gift card; who sent it, which outlet to use, when is the expiration date, and so on. Companies have started introducing and integrating redeemable virtual gift cards on consumer smartphone devices.
We have provided free gift card templates that you can download, modify, distribute, and/or print for free in this website. Some examples include Blank Gift Card Template, Birthday Gift Card Template, Beauty and Makeup Gift Card Template, and Holiday Gift Card Template.
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