Visa member banks to issue pre-paid gift cards
Credit card giant, Visa USA, is to expand its prepaid card offering with a range of new gift cards to help its member banks enter new markets and expand their existing consumer and corporate relationships.
The new offering was created as an alternative to a variety of traditional cheque and cash based personal gifts and corporate incentives, and includes four main products: Visa-branded consumer gift cards, corporate incentives, rebates and promotional applications.
Consumers may purchase gift cards to give as personal gifts, while employers can use gift cards for employee incentive programmes. And corporates can incorporate gift cards into their consumer rebate and promotional programmes.
Visa sees the main benefit of these applications as being a wide and varied choice of how and where to spend the gifts, as the cards are accepted anywhere a normal Visa card would be accepted (currently some 25 million merchant locations worldwide).
"Visa saw a growth opportunity within prepaid products to provide card-based payment solutions to replace cash and cheques," said Todd Brockman, vice president of prepaid products for Visa USA. "With our range of products, member banks will be able to offer a valuable gifting, payment and reward tool to consumers, employers and corporate customers."
- Consumer load for consumer use: Gift cards can be sold through bank branches, via the internet, or at a point-of-sale, as an alternative to giving gifts of merchandise, cash, cheques, gift certificates or single-merchant gift cards.
- Corporate load for employee incentives: Gift cards can be provided to employees for meeting sales or performance goals, or as year-end bonuses or spot bonuses.
- Corporate load for consumer rebates: Gift cards can be used as an incentive and provided to consumers as a reward for making specific purchases.
- Corporate load for promotional participants: Gift cards can be provided for special events, sponsorships, contests, grand openings and other commercial promotions.
Visa's consumer security protection policies also apply to its range of gift cards, including its 'zero liability' policy through which the funds on the card are protected if the card is lost or stolen.