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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Facebook enters gift card fray

Facebook launched a gift card scheme that employs physical cards which can hold balances for multiple retailers. The social media website said the Facebook Card service is being rolled out in select regions of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany, with the cards currently available for use at a mix of retailers that include grocery stores, convenience stores, discount retailers and a toy store chain.

Facebook said its users can purchase retailer-specific cards in the Gift Cards & Digital category on the website. Facebook Cards are then physically mailed to recipients, who are also Facebook users. The next time a Facebook user gives another "gift card" to that recipient, the gift amount is added to the Facebook Card already mailed to the recipient. Additionally, the cards can hold balances from different retailers.

"Facebook Cards are reusable," the company said in a Jan. 31, 2013, blog post. "After you've received a card, the next time you get a Facebook Card gift, it will instantly be added to your existing card. Your card can hold multiple gift balances, and each balance is dedicated to the retailer associated with the gift. For example, you might have gift balances of $100 at Sephora, $75 at Target, $50 at Olive Garden, and $8.25 at Jamba Juice."

Facebook users can view the balances on Facebook Cards via the social media site's account settings. Facebook will inform when balances on the cards change by sending text messages to customers' mobile phones. end of article

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