Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
There’s a myriad of ways to issue a present to a friend or loved-one depending on your personal preferences – you can buy a physical gift, such as a new shirt or bunch of flowers, give some cash (boring? yup), or treat them to an ‘experience’, such as a meal or a holiday. For everyone else, there are gift cards.
But the issue with gift cards, according to a new startup called Kiind, is that because they aren’t a payment-type we use all that often, people tend to forget they have them. Thus, they expire or fall down the side of the sofa, and everyone’s a loser (except the retailer, of course).
Gift cards: Buy now, pay later
Kiind is launching for the US market today, having previously been available in beta in Canada, offering a service that lets people email gift cards – but rather than pre-paying and hoping the recipient bothers to use it, the cards are only paid for when the gift is actually chosen.
“If you bought a gift card for someone this year, there’s a good chance it went to waste – along with your money,” says Leif Baradoy, founder and CEO of Kiind. “This year across North America, roughly $10 billion dollars in pre-paid gift cards will go unclaimed. With Kiind, people can avoid this unnecessary waste.”
It’s also worth noting here that although Kiind is very much open to consumers, the company is actually pitching itself more to the business fraternity, which is reflected in its supported contacts’ applications – Salesforce and Mailchimp, though Gmail is also integrated.
“Businesses show appreciation for referrals and to employees on a regular basis, so we solve a bigger problem for them,” explains Baradoy.
“Businesses account for 23% of the annual spend on gift cards—$27 billion in 2013. Kiind will save these customers anywhere from 8%-19% of their current budget, plus we notify them when the gift is used. Gift notifications is a new capability that offers givers a great reason to follow-up, which businesses love.”
In terms of how it works, you create an account, choose a gift from the marketplace which includes local businesses (depending on where you live), as well as established brands such as Amazon.
You add the recipient’s name (it supports more than one recipient), email address and then compose a message and choose an expiry date. You can then preview your ‘campaign’ before inputting your credit card details hitting ‘send’. When someone uses their gift, the sender is notified and the charge is taken.
Kiind also supports iOS Passbook, which means you can store it in your digital wallet, while the platform also provides recipients with geo-located reminders when they pass-by a particular retailer, which is a nice touch for sure.
Kiind is open to businesses and consumers in more than 300 North American cities now. Meanwhile, check out the hilarious promo video below.
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