Electronic Options for Gift Cards Awards

There’s no doubt that the electronic options available for gift cards will make them more and more popular as an employee award.  Gift cards have grown to become the #1 incentive and recognition award in only a few short years.  Now with the ability to issue and redeem gift cards from your mobile phone or other electronic devices, gift cards will only grow in popularity. 

Consider this article from stating that big named retailers and a major credit card issuer have recently rolled out e-gift cards and it won’t be long before most retailers will have this option.  According to Rebekka Rea, Executive Director of the Retail Gift Card Association 

“It’s definitely something that if retailers don’t have now, they are behind.” 

While new technology will continue to help in the growth of e-cards, this market is still small and makes up less than 5% of the close to $100 billion in gift cards purchased last year.  No one thinks that the traditional plastic cards will be disappearing any time soon, or ever.  There’s something to be said for the use of the old plastic especially in the desire to give or reward something that is tangible.  But as the newer generations who live in the digital, texting and IPad world become the heart of working class America, it’s only time before this type of award system takes over the old world of the pewter trophies, the diamond watches and the silver bowls.  Those items may still be in recognition and reward programs, but the channel to acquire them is changing dramatically.  I would be concerned if I were in the traditional merchandise award business where winners are forced to go to a website to pick from a rather limited list of items.  That won’t be their world.

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