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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Payments' place in the retail playbook - Part 1

Dale S. Laszig


Industry Update

Visa Checkout gains 12 million consumers worldwide

Walmart PINs hopes to Visa debit lawsuit

EPC study takes aim at Durbin supporters

Marketplace lenders form new association

PayPal releases app upgrade only for Apple, Android


CNP Expo spotlights fraud, big data, virtual reality

Observations from Payment Facilitator Day

Banks jump on mobile wallets

Adam Atlas

Selling Prepaid

Virtual gifting: field of possibility


Email-related fraud threats grow

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

Disruption a hot topic at Transact 16

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Door-to-door sales, the good old-fashioned way

Steven Feldshuh


Street SmartsSM:
MLS rebranding, the discussion continues

John Tucker
1st Capital Loans LLC

It takes more than sales to sustain an ISO

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Work less and improve your bottom line

Aaron Nasseh
Finical Inc.

Help small merchants avoid MATCH

Sarah Zilenovski

Company Profile

MavensTech Inc

New Products

Comprehensive transaction transport security

TransKrypt Security Server
NewNet Communication Technologies LLC

Next-generation API for vast, underserved market

Digitzs Solutions Inc.


Applying job interview know-how to sales


Letter from the editors

Reader's Speak

Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 13, 2016  •  Issue 16:06:01

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Virtual gifting: field of possibility

Until recently digital gift cards were relegated to online venues. Today it's possible to use digital gift cards through mobile payment methods, including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and to split purchases between digital gift cards and other payment methods. As program managers and customers begin to appreciate the convenience they offer, digital gift card adoption is poised to accelerate.

And as tradition would have it, open loop is following closed loop in the virtual world much the same way as it did when gift certificates migrated to physical plastic in-store and then online. The influence of mobile technology on virtualization has created a measurable growth trajectory within the past six to nine months, according to analyses by CPI Card Group Inc.

Split-tender progress

"The challenge has been, if you get a virtual Visa card, for instance, in the past you could only use that online, but on top of that many online merchants weren't able to do split tender with two different types of debit products," said Stacy Jensen, Prepaid Product Manager at CPI Card Group. "Let's say you go to Amazon and you have a Visa gift card and a debit card from your bank, and you need both because your gift card is worth only so many dollars."

In situations like this, the customer might have been able to pay using a closed-loop gift card and bank debit card, but not the Visa Inc. gift card. Today the application of multiple tenders in the virtual world is beginning to open up, she noted.

Developing technologies have also made instant in-store redemption a possibility. "When you go into a Target store to buy an iPad, at checkout it might say, 'Purchase this iPad and get a $50 Visa gift card or Target card,'" Jensen said. "It's allowing that online experience of a gift with purchase and issuing a virtual gift instead of sending that physical gift to the consumer."

According to Jensen, virtual gifting is now driving rebate, corporate, employee and direct-to-consumer incentive programs in ways previously unimaginable. Still, users face a learning curve when considering virtual gift choices, and having the option available within a merchant's mobile application is a positive step.

Bank role

Many financial institutions already vested in EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) implementation have systems in place to offer virtual programs within existing mobile banking apps, giving banks an advantage in the emerging general purpose reloadable (GPR) card segment.

"A card that sees recurring volume and stays in the cardholder's hands for an extended period of time will be where we see that EMV chip adding the most value," said Troy Bernard, EMV and New Technologies Product Director at CPI Card Group. "It's an expense and investment that the issuer has to make in that new technology."

Cards with low value that will be disposed of after one use are probably not the target. Think GPR payroll cards and government-issued benefit cards. The influence of millennials will also shape GPR card programs, including advanced security features necessary to make them viable.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | USAePay | Impact Paysystems | Electronic Merchant Systems | Board Studios