How Digital Currency Is Changing How We Gift

While gifting should be considered a thoughtful gesture, it must at the same time, be relevant to the recipient.  Whether we are gifting for business – such as to engage customers with rewards or loyalty offerings, as part of a marketing initiative or customer apology, or personally as a celebration, we believe digital currency is changing how we gift across our personal and professional lives and will continue to change how we gift in the coming years.

As experts in the gifting and loyalty space, and as we launch our new eGifting solution in the UK, we have had plenty of time to consider the evolution of tech and the advancements and can see clearly that when it comes to gifting, online purchase, redemption and storage in the form of eGifts has never been so critical.

As well as being ideal for businesses, digital gifting is picking up pace across our lives as physical money becomes less prevalent in our daily lives.

Consumers are happy to use digital currency

We now live in the most connected time in history – and gifting has had to move with the times. For example, did you know we pick up our mobile phones at least 80 times a day, or that according to research in 2017, the average American adult spends about 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smartphone every day - about 86 hours a month.

Digital or eGifts fit into this perfectly because we now have money in more than just a physical wallet in our back pocket. In fact, eGifts are now part of our ‘wallets’ online.  If you’re still using coins of the realm, you could soon be in the minority. Cryptocurrencies are popular evidence of how ready consumers are to use online currency and with 16.8 million Bitcoin in circulation as of January 16, 2018, and with Bitcoin market capitalization worth $326,525,438,576B as of December 2017, it seems there is a large appetite for our money to live in balances online.

It is no wonder that you will have heard some of the interest from financial technology (fintech) about digital currencies when it comes to digital payment solutions, when you consider that the industry is now a market worth billions.

Cash is being replaced by digital spending and giving

Like cash, digital currencies can also be used as compensation. Some freelancers now accept crypto and gift cards as a form of payments due to numerous issues or complications of receiving payments abroad, and at the same time, retailers are increasingly turning to cashless transactions including eGift cards and Bitcoin. Some employers now use digital currencies and gift card as a part of their payment options for employees. (Although gift cards are free of tax, they are often considered taxable income when received by an employer or as compensation for any work done, however, this is not so for cryptocurrencies.)

As we move to online currencies, the options open up for retailers. Faster refunds and customer care solutions, increased marketing rebate options – taking cash, physical gifting and plastic cards out of the equation can only be a good thing for retailers.

That isn’t to say there aren’t issues in digital currencies, and similar to anything of financial value, the security of crypto or digital currencies is a problem.

To fight fraud/theft, for instance, many crypto exchangers and wallets have several methods which they have put in place to protect customers and their funds, including fraud protection systems that take into account customer behaviour, transaction data and digital footprints to identify and prevent fraudulent transactions and also minimize the rejection of legitimate transactions. A smart integrated CRM, POS, Loyalty and gifting system such as those we offer can help you ensure that you are protected by having a true understanding of how each activity slots together.

Gifting will continue to grow

Our prediction overall is that eGifts will continue to grow in line with our appetite for digital currencies. In fact, in 2017, it was projected that eGift card sales are expected to reach $15 billion. With an expected annual growth of over 200%, digital gift cards are the fastest-growing segment in the gift card industry.

eGift cards represent security for users and because the balance can be sent fast, with no inter currency conversion issues, and the flexibility means there are a range of ways smart retailers can use eGifts to their advantage.

If you want to hear more about our eGifting solution, why not get in touch with us today? Click here to contact our UK head office.