THE COMPANY BEHIND One4all is launching a digital version of the gift card, and has its eyes set to new markets as it reaps the rewards – and connections – of its new $2.5 billion fintech parent.
Gift Voucher Shop (GVS) is getting ready to launch a digital One4all gift card in July, in a move to future-proof the business. Until now it had relied on post offices in Ireland and UK as its main distributors.
Blackhawk Network bought GVS for €100 million last November from shareholders, including state-owned An Post.
According to Declan Byrne, GVS group development director, the decision to move online came a year before the sale, with market indicators showing it was time to innovate.
Byrne told Fora that the gift card needs to appeal to both the buyer and the recipient, who are often very different in terms of age and interests.
“The traditional channel of the Post Office is not as relevant to people between 20 and 35, and will probably become less relevant in the future,” he said.
“You can have a buyer who is a mom or dad in their 40s or 50s but they are buying for their son or daughter in their teens and we need balance this,” he added.
To date the company has appealed to both sides by building relationships with more than 5,000 retailers that accept the white label visa gift-card in their stores.
Byrne said becoming mobile accessible opens up new opportunities to the company, giving access to a younger generation who are gifting for less money but more frequently.
Recipients of the digital gift card version will be able to use it to buy online, as it will come with a visa and CVV number. Alternatively they can add it to Google Pay and Apple Pay to use in store.
Videos and pictures will be added to the online gift to help personalise it.
Some 50% of its market is corporate clients, who use One4all as tax-free non-cash payment incentive for employees. Byrne believes that with the digital version there is an immediacy attached to the thank you, which makes the affect of the reward stronger and a better product for these clients.
The digital version also make it easier for One4all to enter new markets and the company is planning to utilise its new parent company’s relationships. It is looking at Germany as its first stop.
Blackhawk Network, which traditionally provides gift card services for large retailers like Macys or CVS pharmacy in the US, intends to include One4all in more of its distribution channels and it has a network of retailers in Germany.
Though no time frame for which the company intends to enter the country has been disclosed, Byrne said One4all aims to sign up these retailers to the card and its initial way of entry to the Germany market will be entirely virtual.
“We can acquire B2B clients in that market pretty easily and then move into the B2C [business to customer] channel at a lot lower risk and a lot lower cost than how we traditionally would have done it,” Byrne said.