A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Gift Cards

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Digital Gift Cards

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the art of gifting has changed dramatically. We no longer use traditional physical gift cards; instead, we prefer the ease and variety of digital gift cards. But what is a digital gift card? These digital alternatives open up a world of possibilities, delivering quick gratification, seamless accessibility, and limitless options for both present givers and recipients.

This comprehensive guide delves into the world of digital gift cards, including their various varieties, benefits, and limitations. Whether you’re new to the concept or want to improve your understanding, join us as we explore the exciting world of digital gifting, with a special emphasis on the innovative platform 99Minds.

What are Digital Gift Cards?

Consider a standard gift card, a tangible card that may be used for specific purchases in the same way that cash or credit cards are. People frequently purchase these as gifts for relatives and family. Instead of devoting a lot of time to selecting a specific gift, simply get a gift card for a store or platform you believe they will appreciate. Gift cards contain a predetermined amount of money and can be purchased from various major retailers, including Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Steam, and several smaller online merchants.

So, what is a digital gift card? A digital gift card is the online equivalent of a traditional gift card. It’s considerably more handy because you don’t have to bring it with you to the store. Furthermore, the digital codes are frequently sent to your email or phone, making them more difficult to misplace.

For customers, digital gift certificates are ideal for last-minute presents. They’re ideal for e-commerce enterprises because they eliminate production expenditures. Digital gift cards can also increase sales. Businesses that provide gift cards can attract new clients while also making the purchasing process easier.

Gift card software allows businesses to easily design, manage, and distribute digital gift cards. Businesses that utilize gift card software may expedite the process of selling and maintaining digital gift cards, improve the customer experience, and efficiently boost sales.

Why are Digital Gift Cards so Successful?

What is an e-gift cards secret to success? Digital gift cards have become very popular and successful for many reasons. Their success can be attributed to their combination of convenience, security, instant gratification, and accessibility, making them an excellent choice for gift givers and recipients. Let's examine these reasons in more depth:
    • Flexibility: One of the main benefits of digital gift cards is the ease of conversion. These cards give recipients the freedom to choose when and how they want to spend their gifts. Whether it's online shopping, in-store shopping, or a combination of both, digital gift cards offer a versatile solution to suit one's needs and wants.
    • Security: Digital gift cards are more secure than traditional physical cards. They cannot be lost, stolen, or damaged. They are always accessible because they can be stored electronically on mobile phones, emails, or applications. If the email or code is accidentally deleted, donors can send a digital gift card to ensure the value is not lost.
    • Accessibility: Digital Gift Cards provide easy access to cash when you need it. These can be easily accessed from mobile phones, tablets, or laptops, so the recipient can use the gift card on the go or whenever they want. This achievement is especially impressive in today's fast-paced, globalized world.
    • Versatility: Digital gift cards are available at many retailers, restaurants, entertainment services, and more. This variety appeals to different needs and preferences, making it easier to find the perfect gift card for your recipient. Whether it's for shopping, dining, entertainment, or services, chances are a digital gift card will be appropriate.
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    • Economic benefits: Digital gift cards generally come without the additional costs associated with physical cards, such as shipping costs. Retailers may also offer promotions or discounts on digital gift cards, making them an economical choice. Additionally, they encourage future usage and often lead to more purchases on the card, which benefits retailers.
    • Environmentally friendly: Digital gift cards reduce environmental waste by eliminating physical plastic or paper cards. This eco-friendly product appeals to environmentally conscious customers who prefer sustainable gifts.
    • Global reach: Digital gift cards can be sent to recipients worldwide, making them ideal for long-distance gift giving. Many gift card services offer more cash, making international use easier and more attractive.
    • Adaptability: To climate change The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital solutions, including gift cards, as people look for ways to give gifts that are not too far away. Digital gift cards are increasingly appearing on online shopping and e-commerce sites, and their relevance and use in modern products are increasing.

    Create gift cards for every occasion quickly and effortlessly with digital gift card solutions, which provide simplicity, security, and flexibility for both givers and receivers.

    Physical vs Digital Gift Cards

    1. Physical Gift Cards

    2. Physical gift cards are actual items composed of plastic or paper. They are frequently preferred by specific populations, notably those who value having a physical item to hold.
      • The p0hysical aspect: Many people, particularly those in older demographics, enjoy the feel of a visual card.
      • Traditional gifting: Physical cards are great for conventional gifting occasions like birthdays and holidays.
      • Example: A store-purchased plastic gift card presented in a gift envelope.

    3. Digital Gift Cards (e-gift Cards)

    4. Digital gift cards, often known as e-gift cards, are the digital version of traditional gift cards. They provide various advantages:
      • Instant delivery: Digital gift cards may be sent virtually immediately via email or chat systems, making them ideal for last-minute gifts.
      • Convenience: They eliminate the drawbacks of physical cards, such as the possibility of loss, damage, and the need for physical distribution.
      • Accessibility: Gift cards can be readily accessed and used online and in-store by recipients using their smartphones, tablets, or desktops.
      • Example: An Amazon e-gift card is emailed to the receiver and can be used instantly for online purchases.

    Amazon e-gift card

    Third-Party vs Brand Owned Gift Cards

    1. Third-Party Gift Cards

    2. One brand offers third-party gift cards, which can be used to purchase products or services from another company. These cards are useful for a variety of purposes.
      • Attractive incentives: Brands that may need help to provide appealing incentives based on their products can give popular third-party gift cards to reach a larger audience.
      • Flexibility for recipients: Value the freedom to pick where to spend their gift cards, which typically makes them more tempting.
      • Disadvantage: The issuing brand incurs an immediate cash expense, whereas the spending benefits another brand.
      • Example: A bank may offer Amazon gift cards to incentivize signing up for a service.

      Amazon pays ICICI bank credit card
    3. Brand Owned Gift Cards

    4. Own branded gift cards are issued by a certain brand and can only be used to purchase their items or services. These cards offer various advantages to the issuing brand
      • Advance on future sales: The brand receives cash in advance for future transactions, ensuring that the recipient uses the card again.
      • Customer retention:By limiting the usage of its products or services, the brand ensures customer retention and may earn loyal customers.
      • Brand advertisement: These gift cards serve as a type of advertisement, keeping the brand at the forefront of the receiver's mind.
      • Example: Consider a Starbucks gift card that can only be redeemed at Starbucks shops.

    Starbucks gift cards

    How do Digital Gift Cards Work?

      When people ask, ”What is a digital gift card?” the simplest answer is that, digital gift cards, or e-gift cards, are a modern and easy method to offer and receive gifts. They function similarly to traditional physical gift cards but with the added advantages of fast delivery, convenience, and security. Here's a thorough description of how digital gift cards work:  How do digital gift cards work
      1. Purchasing a Digital Gift Card

      2. When purchasing a digital gift card, buyers can choose from a retailer's website, an online marketplace, or a dedicated platform. They select the desired brand, card value, and design (if customizable).
        • Allowing the buyer to personalize their card: Many platforms will enable the buyer to include a personalized note, select a delivery date, and even modify the card with a specific design or image.
        • Share payment details: The buyer provides payment details to finalize the transaction. Credit and debit cards, PayPal, and other online payment methods are commonly accepted.
      3. Delivery of the Digital Gift Cards

      4. The digital gift card is delivered to the recipient via email or SMS, depending on the method selected during purchasing.
        • Instant or scheduled delivery: Delivery can be instant, which means the card is delivered to the recipient within minutes of purchase, or planned for a later date, such as a birthday or holiday.
      5. Receiving and Accessing the Digital Gift Cards

      6. Need help with using your digital gift cards? Here's a little manual! It's simple to receive and use digital gift cards. A message with a code and instructions is sent to the recipients. Users have two options: store it on their device or utilize mobile wallets like Google Pay or Apple Wallet. There is broad compatibility with PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
        • Customer gets notified: The recipient receives a notification that includes a unique code, redemption instructions, and, in some cases, a link to the retailer's website.
        • The notice includes a unique code, which is commonly referred to as a redemption code or gift card code. This code is required for redeeming the gift card and is typically a mix of letters and digits. Each digital gift card contains a unique code, ensuring that it may only be used by the specified recipient.
        • Clear instructions are provided for redeeming the digital gift card. This could include instructions on where and how to enter the unique code during an online purchase or how to present it in a physical store. The instructions ensure that the recipient understands exactly how to access and use their gift card.
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        • In some situations, the notification may contain a direct link to the retailer's website. This link allows the receiver to easily explore the retailer's offerings and start the redemption process immediately from the notification. It also provides an easy option for recipients to learn more about the retailer's products or services.
        • Easily access the digital gift cards: The receiver can save the digital gift card on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. Many stores also allow you to add a gift card to a mobile wallet (such as Apple Wallet or Google Pay) for quick access.
        • By saving digital gift cards on their devices, recipients may access them anytime and from any location, eliminating the need to carry physical cards. This convenience is especially beneficial when making impulsive purchases or when the recipient is on the move.
        • Device compatibility: For quick and simple access, recipients can store digital gift cards straight to their PCs, tablets, or cell phones. Digital gift cards can be downloaded or saved to particular apps or digital wallets on smartphones and tablets. They can be accessed through online gift card administration services, saved as digital files, or maintained in computer email accounts.
        • Apple wallet (iOS): Many digital gift card issuers integrate with Apple Wallet, allowing recipients to add gift cards directly to the digital wallet app on their iPhone or other iOS devices. Once loaded, the gift card can be accessed quickly and easily through the Wallet app.
        • Google pay (Android): Android users can add digital gift cards to the Google Pay app. This integration enables users to access the gift card from their Android smartphone or tablet anytime needed.
      7. Redeeming the Digital Gift Cards

      8. Using digital gift cards for in-store or online purchases is an easy and quick approach. This is how it operates.
        • Online redemption: When making an online purchase, the recipient enters the unique gift card code at the checkout page of the retailer's website or app. The card's balance is then added to the entire purchase amount.
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        • In-store redemption: For in-store transactions, the recipient can show the digital gift card (on their mobile device) to the cashier, who will scan the barcode or manually enter the code into the point-of-sale system.
        • Partial use: If the entire purchase amount is less than the gift card balance, the remaining balance is stored on the card for future use. If the purchase exceeds the card's balance, the recipient can pay the difference using another payment method.
      9. Managing the Digital Gift Cards

      10. Effective management of digital gift cards guarantees that recipients may make the most of their convenience and usage. Managing the essential elements of digital gift cards is as follows.
        • Balance checking: Recipients can usually check their gift card balance online at the retailer's website or by calling customer care. Some mobile wallets also update their balance automatically.
        • Reload the Card: Some digital gift cards are reloadable, allowing the recipient or original purchaser to add funds to the card for future use.

      How to Set Up Your Digital Gift Cards?

        Setting up digital gift cards can be an effective way to increase sales, improve consumer loyalty, and broaden your brand's reach. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to get you started:
      1. Choosing a Platform: Choose a Reliable Digital Gift Card Platform

        • Research options: Look for platforms that provide complete features such as customization, security, and simplicity of integration. Popular choices include 99minds, Square, and GiftUp.
        • Read reviews: Check online reviews and testimonials to determine the dependability and consumer happiness of the platforms you're investigating.
        • Consider integration: Ensure that the platform works seamlessly with your existing point-of-sale (POS) and e-commerce systems.
        • Evaluate costs: Compare price models to locate one that matches your budget without sacrificing important features.
        • Customer support: Select a platform that provides extensive customer assistance to assist you in the event of any problems or questions.
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      2. Designing the Gift Card

      3. Customize the Design to Match the Brand
        • Ensure brand consistency: Use your brand's colors, logo, and fonts to ensure that the gift card design is consistent with your brand identity.
        • Professional design tools: Use the platform's design tools or engage a graphic designer to create a professional and visually appealing gift card design.
        • Personalization options: Allow customers to personalize gift cards with unique messages or recipient names to add a more personal touch.
        • Preview & test: Preview the finished design and test the digital gift card to check it works properly on all devices and platforms.
      4. Marketing Strategies for Promoting Digital Gift Cards to Customers

        • Email campaigns: Send out customized email campaigns to your customers, emphasizing the simplicity and benefits of digital gift cards.
        • Social media promotion: Use your social media networks to promote your digital gift cards by including eye-catching pictures and promotional offers.
        • Website integration: Display your digital gift cards prominently on your website, making them easily accessible for purchase. Create a separate gift card page if possible.
        • In-store advertising: Businesses with physical locations can promote digital gift cards through in-store advertising, fliers, and staff recommendations.
        • Seasonal campaigns: Run special marketing during holidays and other special occasions when gift card sales normally increase. Seasonal promotions can be a critical part of strategies focused on how to increase eCommerce sales.
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        • Collaborations and partnerships: Form alliances with other businesses or influencers to broaden your reach and offer your gift cards to a larger audience.
        • Customer incentives: Encourage customers to buy additional digital gift cards by offering discounts or bonus gift cards.

      Compliance and Regulations for Digital Gift Cards

        Regulatory compliance must be ensured for digital gift card schemes to be effective. Here are a few more things to think about:
      1. Regulatory Compliance

        • Businesses must ensure their digital gift cards comply with all applicable rules and regulations. This includes conforming to:
        • Federal regulations: The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 in the United States is a key regulation. It requires a minimum validity term of five years for gift cards and limits fees, such as inactivity fees, unless certain conditions are met.
        • State restrictions: Gift card restrictions vary by state. For example, California's Civil Code Section 1749.5 bars expiration dates and most fees on gift cards, ensuring that consumers can keep the full value of their cards eternally.
        • International regulations: Businesses that operate across borders must comply with the regulations of several governments. This could involve adhering to standards akin to the CARD Act or complying with European Union directives requiring a minimum validity period and transparent disclosure of terms.
        • Data protection: Data security is crucial for managing digital gift cards. Businesses must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) rules for securely handling personal data, including encrypting client details like names, emails, and transactions. Collecting only essential data minimizes risks. Obtaining customer consent before data collection and ensuring they understand usage options is key. Regular audits, regulatory compliance, and staff training foster a strong data protection culture.
      2. Consumer Protection Laws

        • Respecting consumer protection standards is critical for ensuring fair and transparent gift card transactions. Businesses must: Book a Demo CTA image for b2b ecommerce trends
        • Provide consumers with transactions that are equitable, open, and responsible.
        • Clearly explain all digital gift card terms, conditions, fees, and expiration dates. This allows consumers to make more informed decisions and avoid misunderstandings.
      3. Unclaimed Property Regulations

      4. To protect the interests of customers, businesses must adhere to legislation controlling the administration of unused gift card balances. This often includes:
        • In the US, after a certain period of inactivity, companies must report and send any unused gift card balances to the state government. States have varying unclaimed property regulations that govern when and how unused balances should be transferred.
        • Notifying customers before transferring any unused funds to the state, as required by unclaimed property laws. This guarantees that consumers are aware of the status of their gift card balances and have the option to utilize them before they expire.
        • However, in the rest of the world, different regulations can apply to unclaimed property.
        1. The European Union (EU)

          Although the handling of unclaimed gift cards in the EU differs from region to region, gift cards usually have expiration dates, if they are unused, the money usually goes back to the issuer. In certain countries, this unclaimed money is donated to charity organizations.

        2. Canada

          Gift cards are not subject to expiration dates in Canada, and the purchaser can keep any unused balance for as long as they like.

        3. Australia

          Gift cards with expiration dates—typically a minimum of three years—are permitted by Australian law. After the expiration date, unclaimed money typically goes back to the store.

        4. India

          In India, gift cards frequently contain expiration dates, and after that time, any unused money is usually returned to the seller.

      5. Gift Card Expiry Regulations

      6. Following regulations regarding gift card expiration dates is essential to stop unfair business activities and shield cardholders from losing value. This includes:
        • Ensure that gift cards have realistic expiration dates that provide buyers enough time to use them.
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        • In some regions, expiration dates are completely prohibited, allowing consumers to use the full value of their cards without fear of them expiring. This is common in Canada, including Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. In the United States, California has stringent regulations regarding gift card expiration dates.
      7. Disclosure Requirements

      8. Giving customers accurate and clear information regarding gift cards is critical for informed decision-making. Businesses must:
        • Convey all of the gift card's terms, conditions, prices, and limits. This includes any fees, expiration dates, and usage limits clear in their gift card brief both in the physical store and online.
        • Comply with disclosure standards imposed by federal, state, and international authorities to promote transparency and avoid confusion.
      9. Refund Policies

        • To comply with applicable laws and regulations, gift card refund procedures must be established equitably and unambiguously. Outlining policies for refunding partially used or unused gift cards. Businesses should properly express these restrictions to customers both at the point of purchase and on their website.

      Digital Gift Cards Security

      Digital gift cards are convenient and flexible, but their security is critical for customers and companies. Here are some best practices and procedures for keeping digital gift cards safe and secure.
      1. Business Security Measures for Digital Gift Cards

        • Encryption and secure transactions: Gift card transactions should be encrypted and carried out over secure channels to protect sensitive consumer information, such as card numbers and personal information, from cyber attacks. Encryption converts data into unreadable codes during transmission to prevent unauthorized access. Secure channels, such as encrypted websites or dedicated payment processors, offer additional security from hackers. Businesses that prioritize encryption and secure routes may protect client data, reduce fraud, and preserve trust in their gift card systems.
        • Choose a secure gift card software: Businesses can manage gift cards more efficiently with the help of an intuitive platform. Easily customize, send securely, and keep track of digital gift cards. Businesses can successfully improve customer experience and generate sales by implementing powerful security measures and seamless integration.
        • Authentication and access controls: Using multi-factor authentication (MFA) and strong access controls to prevent illegal access.
        • Monitoring and analytics: Using advanced analytics and monitoring techniques to detect and report odd or suspect gift card activity.
        • Unique and complex code: Generate unique, complex gift card codes to limit the possibility of fraud.
        • Expiration dates and usage limit: Setting expiration dates and usage limits helps to reduce the impact of potential fraud.
        • Regular security audits: Conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to discover and address security issues.
        • Customer education: Informing customers about safe methods for using and storing digital gift cards.
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        • Secure payment gateways: It complies with industry standards such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), which ensures secure transaction processing.
        • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Use MFA to access the gift card management system. This adds an extra degree of protection by forcing users to authenticate their identity using various ways (e.g., password and cellphone verification).
        • Role-depending access control (RBAC): Use RBAC to limit user access to the gift card system depending on their role. Ensure that only authorized workers can carry out crucial tasks, such as issuing or altering gift cards.
        • Single-use codes
        • Consider introducing single-use codes that expire after one usage, decreasing the possibility of reuse or duplication.
        • Fraud reporting way: Create a clear and simple way for clients to report suspected fraud or abuse, and ensure rapid investigation and resolution of reported concerns.
        • Regulatory compliance: Ensure that digital gift cards are following all applicable rules and regulations, such as data protection and consumer rights laws.
        • Data privacy measures: Implement strong data privacy safeguards to protect consumer information and ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR or CCPA.
      2. Best Practices for Consumers

        • Buying from reputable sources: Purchasing digital gift cards from trusted merchants or official brand websites is critical to ensuring the security and legality of transactions. Trusted sources have strong security measures, reducing the danger of scams and fraud. Customers who buy from these vendors may be confident that the gift cards are genuine and will have a safe shopping experience.
        • Tips for safely storing: Digital gift cards include using password-protected digital wallets and secure email folders.
        • Monitor and manage balances: Regularly review gift card balances and transaction records to detect any fraudulent activity.
        • Using secure connections: Consumers should use secure, private internet connections when accessing or using digital gift cards.
        • Reporting suspicious activity: If any illegal or suspicious activities are discovered, take prompt action. Contact your banking institution or payment processor, tell any affected customers, assess security procedures, and discuss developments openly.
        • Enable notifications: Encourages the usage of email or SMS notifications for digital gift card purchases.

      Sell Gift Cards with 99minds

      Boost your business's sales and customer experience by incorporating the versatile gift card solutions offered by 99minds. Introducing gift cards in your business strategy isn’t just about boosting sales - it’s about enhancing customer engagement and providing seamless shopping experiences. 99minds supports a comprehensive gift card program that adapts to your specific business needs, whether you operate online, in-store, or both. Digital Gift card

      Prominent features of 99minds gift card solution:

      • Digital wallet integration: Our platform supports digital gift cards that can be effortlessly added to digital wallets such as Apple Wallet, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay. This modern solution ensures that customers always have their gift cards on hand, secured and ready to use from their mobile devices, enhancing convenience and reducing physical card waste.
      • Seamless omnichannel experience: With 99minds, you can ensure that gift cards are usable and purchasable across all sales channels. This consistency improves the customer experience, providing flexibility in how they interact with your brand.
      • Tailored branding options: Customize your gift cards to reflect your brand’s ethos. From card design to usage terms, you can create an offering that resonates with your brand identity and appeals to your customer base.
      • Enhanced security features: We prioritize security to protect your transactions from fraud. Our platform provides robust security measures that safeguard your customers' purchases and your business's reputation.
      • In-depth analytics: Gain insights into your gift card program's performance with our detailed analytics tools. Understand purchasing patterns, card usage, and other key metrics to refine your strategies and optimize sales.


      Digital gift cards have revolutionized the gifting experience by offering unparalleled simplicity, flexibility, and accessibility. With platforms like 99Minds, organizations now have sophisticated tools for easily creating, managing, and distributing their branded gift card programs.

      This not only improves consumer engagement but also increases revenues and loyalty. As the demand for digital gifting grows, these platforms are influencing the future of commerce, making the act of giving more meaningful and convenient than ever before. With these insights, you now clearly know what an e-gift card is and how it might improve your gifting experience. Whether giving or receiving, digital gift cards provide a modern, convenient, and adaptable answer to your present needs.

      Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

      Are Digital Gift Cards Secure?

      Yes, digital gift cards are generally secure as they are stored electronically and can be easily retrieved from email or mobile devices.

      Can Digital Gift Cards be Personalized?

      Many platforms allow users to personalize digital gift cards with customer messages, designs, and delivery options.

      How Can I Redeem a Digital Gift Card?

      Digital gift cards can typically be redeemed online at the retailer's website or app by entering the unique code at checkout.

      Are There Any Fees Associated with Digital Gift Cards?

      Fees may vary depending on the platform and retailer. It's essential to read the terms and conditions before purchasing or using a digital gift card.

      Can I Reload a Digital Gift Card?

      Some digital gift cards are reloadable, allowing the recipient or purchaser to add funds for future use.