First Data Amps up Gifting Platform with Latest Acquisition (July 14, 2015)
First Data Corp. has made another move to bolster digital gifting options for its retail clients, acquiring digital gift card platform Transaction Wireless Inc. (TWI). The purchase comes about a year after First Data acquired Gyft Inc., a mobile wallet-based digital gifting specialist.
With TWI’s enterprise solution and Gyft’s customer-facing gifting platforms now under its umbrella, First Data says it can provide a fully integrated gifting program that can serve as a single distribution channel and point of contact for all facets of clients’ physical and digital gift card programs. An integrated dashboard will enable retailers to monitor all components of their programs, tracking plastic, digital, closed- and open-loop cards, making it easier to compare analytics among different card types, according to First Data. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Physical gift cards still account for 95 to 96 percent of all gift cards purchased, but at 4 to 5 percent, virtual is growing fast,” Michael Hursta, vice president and prepaid category manager, First Data, told Paybefore in a recent interview. “We’re fielding lots of questions about virtual. Merchants want to know how they can get more involved and how they can tie virtual cards into their loyalty programs,” he explained. A key benefit of virtual/mobile gift cards is that retailers can test campaigns, see results and adapt quickly—without investing in mailers and card stock.