An increasing number of digital gift card and apps let you give, receive and use gift cards all on your smartphone — no traditional wallet needed. Easy peasy, right? But they also present new security issues. There are two types of gift cards – physical and digital (e-gift cards) – and each comes with a wide range of features and benefits.
Companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target allow consumers to purchase physical cards as well as to load online or digital accounts. These digital accounts often allow users to print gift cards from digital devices such as a smartphone or computer, and then redeem them at brick-and-mortar outlets, or spend the balances online using an app or through a website.
The benefits of texting someone a gift card or storing your own cards in a virtual wallet are undeniable. On the way to a party and forgot to buy a gift? No worries, you can send the guest of honor a gift card from your smartphone in minutes. Worried you’ll misplace a plastic gift card? You can input the information on your mobile phone.
Digital gift card within the range of $2,000 are readily available from a range of retailers. They make up a small segment of the gift card market but the fraction is assumed to grow, with consumers assumed to spend $10 billion on mobile and eGift cards in 2016.
The total of cash involved, thus, make enticing targets for scammers. Mobile malware is somewhat new, although it’s progressing.
How Does Digital Gift Card Work?
Retailer-specific apps allow you purchase, send, save and spend e-gift cards from a particular retailer. Take for instance, Target, allows you create an online account at Target’s official website, download the Target gift card app and purchase and send gift cards through text. The reciever may redeem the gift card by opening the link in the text to pull up a bar code. This barcode can be scanned at the register or an account number that cashiers can input offline.
Mobile wallets allow you save your mobile gift cards or input the information from plastic gift cards to store them electronically. Take for instance, Google Wallet, Amazon Wallet and Apple’s Passbook all let you upload gift cards, although you cannot purchase gift cards through the apps.
Mobile gift card apps allow you purchase, send, store and spend e-gift cards from a host of retailers. Gyft and GoWallet both offer these features.
With Gyft, you can purchase a mobile gift card in the app and send it by emailing the recipient, posting it on the receiver’s Facebook wall (only the Facebook account holder can activate it) or texting a link to the gift card.
GoWallet works in a similar way, though the website warns that some retailers may not be able to scan the bar code of a gift card that has been uploaded to your phone. You may also need to carry a printout or plastic version of the card just in case.
How To Store Digital Gift Cards Safely
Gift cards don’t get similar security with debit and credit cards. It is also worthy of mention that there are a lot of scammers out there willing to prey on your card. Here are 5 tips to keep your mobile gift card safe.
5 Tips To Keep Your Digital Gift Card Safe
Buy gift cards from trustworthy sites.
Stick to well-known reputable websites such as Cardtonic.
Use app PINs and passwords too. Many apps require a PIN or password to access the account. Others make it optional, but it’s best to use one.
If your PIN is compromised, act quickly. You may be able to suspend or deactivate your account — but you’ll need to do so before someone spends the gift card balance.
Don’t post pictures of your gift card when trading till you determine if the buyer can be trusted.
Treat mobile gift cards like cash. This simply means it is not advisable to upload a gift card to your phone until you’re ready to use it.
Cardtonic operates as a trading platform with direct gift card brokers. Cardtonic also provides flexible trading options to allow the ease of trading. This platform allows the option of trading via Instant messenger, website, and a mobile app for convenience.
Trading is done easily through the mobile app, website, and instant messengers. Moreover, this platform processes over 10,000 transactions each month. Given so much volume, the company possesses a brilliant reputation for being secure and reliable.