The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 27, 2015 • Issue 15:07:02
Yiftee, a gift solutions provider established in 2012 and based in Menlo Park, Calif., created a gifting platform with national coverage powered by MasterCard Worldwide. Yiftees are virtual gifts that consumers can send and receive instantly by email, text, Facebook or Twitter via the Internet and mobile web. Yiftees can be redeemed both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, the company stated.
Yiftee Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Donna Novitsky described the company's name as a mash-up of "yippee, nifty, and gift" that reflects the overall excitement of the Yiftee experience. "Yiftee has been an attention-getter for business owners and consumers because it's new and cool," she said. "Consumers see it as a personal way of giving, and many merchants see it as a first step into e-commerce."
Research and development of existing merchant gift card programs formed the basis for Yiftee's design and features. "One of the problems we wanted to solve is improving traffic to local shops and restaurants across America," Novitsky said. "We talked to hundreds of merchants who helped us understand what was missing in their gift card and e-commerce programs."
Zero breakage, zero chargebacks
Yiftee noted that any merchant who accepts MasterCard can participate in Yiftee's subscription-based program. Small to midsize merchants can get into the e-commerce game without investing in technology or putting a menu, product list or shopping cart online. By adding a Yiftee button to a website or company Facebook page, merchants can become e-gift enabled.
MasterCard will immediately validate a Yiftee virtual card upon presentment online or at brick-and-mortar stores. Yiftees are guaranteed against chargebacks and protected throughout their transaction lifecycles using MasterCard's secure processing and fraud management tools, according to Yiftee.
Funds for Yiftee virtual gifts are held in escrow for up to one year. Any unspent value that remains on the virtual card after the one year period will be returned to the sender. Senders can keep, reuse, donate or exchange the funds at their discretion, the company noted.
The 'Instagram of gifting'
Novitsky calls Yiftee the "Instagram of gifting" because the simple process enables consumers to transmit gifts and receive gifts instantaneously. Following is an overview of the process Yiftee described:
- Sender: Select a recipient and enter the person's zip code; choose from large and small merchants within the recipient's locale; select a gift or assign a dollar amount to be used at the merchant's location; write a personal message; and send by text, email, Facebook or Twitter, or schedule a special delivery date in advance.
- Recipient: Receive immediate Yiftee notification; receive monthly reminders of the gift and who sent it; take up to a year to redeem online or at the merchant's location.
Partner portal, API and reseller program
Novitsky described the Yiftee program as easy to sell and a great source of incremental add-on revenue that can increase stickiness and get small merchants into the e-commerce market. She added that the program is popular with corporate clients, industry associations and merchant acquirers, and is free to individual gift givers. Tiered pricing is available for corporate clients and merchants. The company provides wholesale pricing and a partner portal to its ISO resellers.
Participating merchants can use Yiftee's application programming interface to integrate the app into websites and Facebook pages. Business listings on Yiftee's national directory extend their reach to Yiftee customers across the country searching for gift ideas. Yiftee said its no-hassle brand promise can be summarized as a gift card program with no chargebacks, no equipment and no administrative costs.
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