by Naomi Anderson, Vice President of Prepaid
Originally Published on CUInsight
While gift cards remain one of the most popular gifts to share for holidays and other special occasions, the latest trends surrounding gift cards go beyond this original use. The most recent trends focus on self-use, digital/mobile behavior, and employee incentives. Though other traditional payment forms fluctuated in their popularity during the pandemic, gift card use continued going strong with the help of these trends.
Buying gift cards for personal use is becoming more appealing than ever to consumers. Prepaid gift cards work well for budgeting and have been increasingly popular for online shopping in recent years. Shoppers are also showing a greater interest in receiving rewards and other bonus items when making purchases. Credit unions can capture this interest by utilizing gift cards as an incentive for membership referrals or new lines of business such as credit and loans.
- Digital/Mobile Behavior
Thanks to virtual cards that can be delivered instantly via email, gift card purchases didn’t slow during the pandemic. In fact, at the start of the 2021 holiday shopping season gift card sales increased 414% online, and virtual gift card sales are expected to increase 23% by 2025. (Retail TouchPoints). The pandemic and an increasing use of smartphones and mobile payment apps have helped boost this trend.
- Employee Incentives
Gift cards have become a popular incentive and reward for employees. These cards are not only favored by employees over other rewards, but they also make good business sense since they are safer than cash and less work than checks. Gift cards can also be purchased in bulk, are easier to manage, and safe to store as needed.
Current trends show the gift card market is keeping up with changing consumer needs, making these cards an important part of a credit union’s product portfolio. With the right partner, offering prepaid gift cards with the features members want can be a simple step to take. At Envisant, we are a team of payment service experts ready to work with you to achieve your vision. Contact us at 1-800-942-7124 to learn how we can help you grow your portfolio.