Its 2020 and everything is done online. And when we say everything, we mean everything. Dating, shopping, applying for jobs, filing taxes, buying and ordering food, having meaningful conversations—the list goes on and on.
When we already do so much online, why do we still buy gift cards in stores? Why not online gift cards?
The global digital gift card market is on track to reach $698.2 billion in 2024 at a 10% annual growth rate. That’s a massive market with a lot of potential and a whole lot of people who are interested in digital gift cards.
Most consumers say convenience is the biggest reason why they buy gift cards online, but that’s not the only reason why digital gift cards consistently come out on top.
We’ve rounded up our top 8 reasons for why you should skip that silly piece of plastic and opt instead for a gift card of the digital variety.
They’re harder to lose
Over $970 million in gift cards go missing every year. That’s almost a billion dollars in lost, forgotten, or unused money—real money—just wasted. This may be good for merchants, but it’s not good if you’re the one who lost a $15 American Eagle gift card on the bus.
The great thing about digital gift cards is that they’re a lot easier to keep track of. Most digital gift cards are delivered to you via email, directly on a website, or an app on your phone. This means there’s always a record of them. So even if you print the gift card out and misplace that piece of paper, you should still have a digital copy somewhere.
Better yet, scan the paper copy into a money saving app like Moola. That way, there’s no possibility of losing that piece of paper in the first place.
It’s easier to avoid scams/fraud
There seems to be a new gift card scam popping up in the news every week, with criminals becoming ever more cunning and creative in their approach.
They’ve even figured out a way to hack your boss’ private email account, request that you buy $1200 worth of gift cards, and send the codes to them with such sophistication that even tech savvy individuals are falling victim to the scheme.
The thing with gift cards is because they work just like cash, there isn’t much of a paper trail after you buy the card. Sure you have the receipt you bought a $100 gift card to Best Buy, but there is no way to confirm you’re the person spending that $100 later on. Scammers are even doing things like replacing barcodes on gift cards or scanning the barcode from the gift card while it’s still on the rack.
When you buy a barcode-swapped or pre-scanned gift card, the scammers take your money to spend for themselves. Yeah, you buy the gift card, try to use it and the money is already gone. Recourse? Not much because it’s hard to proven you didn’t spend the money.
Digital gift cards are a safer choice because the card numbers are secured until someone buys them. Once you buy the egift card it exists for you and only on your digital device. The only way someone could take your gift card is if they had access to your email, web accounts, and device.
And if that’s the case, then you probably have bigger problems.
They’re better for the environment
So you got a gift card for Christmas, and you used it up to the very last drop—now what do you do with it? It can’t be reloaded, it can’t be recycled, and it has no value to you anymore. Inevitably, it ends up in the trash, along with the other 300 million tons of plastic that we produce every year.
Plastic is slowly but surely destroying our planet, and while banning plastic straws certainly helps, we believe we should also be getting rid of plastic gift cards too. Think about it, there’s no reason to exchange a multi-use durable good like paper money for a piece of plastic that is only going to be used a couple of times before being tossed in the trash.
When you buy digital gift cards, you’re contributing to a waste-free world. No plastic card. No paper print-out. No problems at the till. It’s the perfect solution if you love the environment and a good deal.
You don’t have to visit a store
Going shopping in real life is fun. Until it’s 6 pm and you just got home from work and you have to put the kids in the car and drive 20 minutes through traffic to go to the mall to buy a gift card for your co-worker’s birthday tomorrow. Not so fun anymore, right?
The great thing about digital gift cards is that you can buy them anytime, anywhere.
On the bus on your evening commute? Buy a gift card.
At home in your pajamas? Buy a gift card.
Walking your dog at 6 in the morning? Buy a gift card.
As long as you have your phone (let’s be real, you always have your phone), you can buy a gift card. That’s the kind of convenience we’re living for.
You can buy, send, and use them at the last minute
Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought a gift last minute.
No matter how many times you tell yourself you won’t buy a gift card for your friend two hours before her party, somehow, it always ends up happening. Save yourself a trip out of your way and send a digital gift card with Moola. It can quite literally be a last-minute gift.
Want to cash in on gift card deals? Sure you can head to the store to cash in on the deal—assuming you can score the deal in the store at all.Everything is easier with digital. Shopping for a new sweater? Check Moola for a deal while you’re in the store, buy it, and use it right then and there!
Digital gift cards are really like magic instant coupons for saving money. With digital gift cards, you can decide what restaurant you want to eat at and look for a gift card for that restaurant minutes before you head out the door. This small step can go a long way, saving you $10, $20 or even $30 off your bill.
You can send it to people out of town
The modern North American family is fragmented. There’s your aunt in California, your cousin in Nevada, your mom in New Jersey, and your brother in Idaho, all of whom need gifts this holiday season.
Shipping a gift across the country can easily cost more than the gift itself, making it seem not even worth the hassle. You could also send them a gift card in the mail and cross your fingers that it gets to them in time, completely untampered with.
As much as I love getting a letter in the mail, let’s face it, it’s just a bit inconvenient for everyone involved. Not to mention, very unsecure.
Sending a digital gift card ensures your gift makes it to where it needs to go as safely and quickly as possible. You can rest assured that your good friend in Florida gets her gift card safe and sound.
They can be used on your phone
Online gift cards are cool and all, but what about mobile gift cards? M-commerce is a $100 billion dollar industry with no sign of it slowing down. Smartphones are the new laptops, so it makes sense that we’ve switched from desktop to mobile.
Mobile gift cards are the ultimate convenience product. Browse, buy, and use your cards in the palm of your hands, without ever dusting off your desktop only to find out your printer can’t print your card because it’s out of cyan.
Have you gone digital yet?
Online gift cards make your life easier. And we’re all about making life easier.
Skip the trip to the store and opt for a mobile gift card you can buy on Moola instead. It’s more secure, easier to buy, harder to lose, and can help you save a whole lot of money.
So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to save some moola?