Fly Buys launches coalition gift card
New Zealand-based coalition loyalty programme operator, Fly Buys, has launched an electronic gift card that will enable both members and non-members to buy and redeem gift cards at a range of coalition participants.
From 2nd October 2006 the cards can be bought from 10 of the existing Fly Buys participants (representing some 1,500 outlets) as well as online. The gift cards can then be redeemed at 14 programme participants, with this number being expected to rise to 22 (out of the current 36 partners) by early 2007.
The gift card will be available to all consumers, whether they are members of the Fly Buys loyalty programme or not.
Watershed According to Fly Buys general manager, Peter Monk, the card represents a watershed in retailing, potentially as significant as the launch of Fly Buys itself ten years ago. He says that the Fly Buys coalition of retail companies is "the perfect group for launching such a far-reaching new payment system. One of the biggest difficulties people face in gifting is simply knowing what to give. International surveys show that 40 percent of gifts end up either stored in a cupboard, consigned to a landfill or passed on to another person."
The card is the first gift card to be issued on a scale like this by an existing coalition of partners that we have come across. The US leads the world in gift card usage, and according to by US-based provider of electronic gift card programmes, Stored Value Systems, published earlier this year by The Wise Marketer, eight out of ten American consumers said they would rather receive a gift card redeemable at their favourite retailer than any other kind of gift. The research also showed that 76% of adults purchased gift cards in the 2005 holiday season and 91% of adults who had received holiday gift cards had redeemed them before the end of February.
Range of values Fly Buys Gift Cards are loaded at the point of sale with values between NZ$10 and NZ$1,000. When the card is used for a purchase it is swiped through the store's EFTPOS terminal and the value of the purchase debited from the card. Customers can also use a combination of gift card and cash, EFTPOS or credit card for purchases. The card can continue to be used at different participants until the dollar value on the card reaches zero. The cards have a 12 month expiry date.
When the cards are bought online, they are paid for using a credit card and despatched via a signature-required courier. Fly Buys members collect Fly Buys points on purchases made with the card. Balances on cards can be checked via text message, by visiting the Fly Buys web site, or via the automated 0800 Fly Buys telephone service. At the time of launch there are four different designs.
Participants At launch the cards can be bought from New World, Shell, Mitre 10, Paper Plus, Liquorland, State, Regency Duty Free, Kodak Express, Visique, and United Travel. They can be redeemed at New World, Shell, Mitre 10, Paper Plus, Liquorland, State, Regency Duty Free, Kodak Express, Visique, United Travel, Unichem and Noel Leeming.
Postie Plus, Baby City, Arbuckles, Frank Allen Tyres, Beaurepaires, EziBuy and Best Western plan to join Fly Buys Gift Card by 31st March 2007 and Air New Zealand Travel Centres are planning to join shortly.
Currently three out of every four households in New Zealand has a Fly Buys card. So far, members have bought some NZ$40 billion from Fly Buys participating companies using their cards, with NZ$7 billion of that being in the past twelve months. The card has been two years in development.