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How Tru Universe Elevates the Gift Card Industry

By February 14, 2024June 21st, 2024No Comments5 min read

Businesses leverage gift cards to create brand awareness, improve customer retention, and increase foot traffic. Over the years, gift cards have increased in popularity and have evolved to digital platforms, making it easier to distribute. “The convenience of gift cards goes beyond the initial gift or intent.  Gift cards create a relationship between the vendor and the end user by getting a customer into a store or to a website,” says Mira Tzur, the Senior Vice President of Tru Universe, a fintech marketing and payment company that fascinates and customizes prepaid debit cards. 

Offering convenience and flexibility, these prepaid cards have transformed the way people give and receive gifts. In this article, we will explore the gift card industry, its growth, trends, and the impact it has on both retailers and consumers. 

The Gift Card Boom

The gift card industry has experienced exponential growth. The convenience of purchasing and redeeming gift cards has made them a preferred choice for many individuals and businesses. Following the pandemic, gift cards, including cashless gift cards, increased in popularity and also became a way for employers and businesses to offer rewards. According to Markets Insider, “The global gift cards market is expected to hit US$ 750 billion dollars by 2026.” Other sources claim more conservative projections, while still suggesting an upward trend in the distribution and use of gift cards. 

According to Lisette Anciaes, Senior Program Director of Tru Universe, “We have definitely seen an increase in the demand of gift cards, specifically for companies, in the last decade and we are prepared and happy to meet the needs of the market with our product and services.” 

Benefits for Consumers

Gift cards offer numerous advantages to consumers. They provide greater flexibility by allowing recipients to choose their preferred products or services, ensuring their satisfaction. Furthermore, gift cards eliminate the stress associated with traditional gift-giving, as they allow recipients to make selections that align with their personal preferences and needs. Additionally, they are convenient, often available for purchase in various denominations and accessible in both physical and digital formats. 

Growth Factors

Several factors have contributed to the booming gift card industry. One key factor is the rise of e-commerce, which has revolutionized retail by providing seamless online shopping experiences. E-commerce platforms have made it even easier for consumers to purchase and redeem gift cards digitally, promoting their widespread adoption. Moreover, gift cards have become a popular option for corporate gifting, employee incentives, and rewards programs, as businesses recognize their benefits in fostering positive relationships and driving customer loyalty. “Employee incentives help employees feel valued and one way to incentivize employees is through bonuses in the form of digital wallet cards, or gift cards,” says Tzur, who has experience leading teams and motivating her employees or collaborators. 

Evolving Trends

The gift card industry is continuously evolving, adapting to changing consumer demands and preferences. Some prominent trends include personalized gift cards, where consumers can add a personal touch by customizing the cards with greetings or photos. Additionally, mobile gift cards, also known as eGift cards, have gained traction due to their convenience and instant delivery. Furthermore, retailers are partnering with third-party platforms to expand the reach of gift cards, increasing their visibility and accessibility to a broader consumer base.

Challenges and Security Measures

As the gift card industry flourishes, it also faces certain challenges. Fraudulent activities, including counterfeit cards and unauthorized use, can pose a threat to consumers and retailers alike. To combat these issues, robust security measures are being implemented. Such measures include scratch-off PINs, unique activation codes, and advanced fraud detection systems that monitor and analyze redemption patterns for suspicious activities.

The Future Outlook

The gift card industry shows no signs of slowing down. As e-commerce continues to grow, digital gift cards are predicted to become even more widespread. Moreover, advancements in technology, such as blockchain, could potentially enhance security and transparency in the industry. Additionally, the inclusion of augmented reality and gamification elements in gift cards might further engage consumers, breathing new life into the traditional gifting experience.

“One of the best things about what Tru Universe has to offer is the technology and customization,”  says Chris Michaelis, the Vice President of Marketing at Tru Universe. “Our company definitely keeps up with the technological advances of the times.” 

Multi-Purpose Gift Cards

Given the popularity and benefits of gift cards, as evidenced by research, companies have become more innovative in how they create gift cards that can be used at multiple retailers, or creating gift cards specifically for a mall or town.  One example of a company whose platform allows gift cards to be used at multiple retailers in one town or mall is Tru Universe. Tru created a program for Oxford Malls, which provides prepaid VISA®️ Tru gift cards that can be used at any retailer within the Oxford Mall.  Tru Universe also partnered with several chambers of commerce to create tourism incentives and provide gift cards that can be used in specific towns in North America, including Kingston (Ontario, Canada) and Banff Lake Louise (Canada).  The customized programs created by Tru Universe are the perfect incentive to improve the economy and a way to drive foot traffic into brick and mortar retailers, thus keeping the community cash flow going. 

The Senior Vice President of Tru Universe, Mira Tzur, expresses her excitement regarding the programs Tru Universe set in place, “We are more than a payment platform or facilitator of gift cards. We solve problems for companies on a bigger scale and we do so swiftly so that money can circulate through the economy.” 

The gift card industry has transformed the way we give and receive gifts, offering convenience, flexibility, and endless possibilities. From personalized and digital gift cards to their increasing role in corporate gifting, this industry continues to evolve and adapt. As we move forward, businesses and consumers can expect even more innovative and secure gift card solutions, cementing their place as a go-to gifting option for years to come.



Originally posted on Economic Insider