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2013 Paybefore Awards: Best Network Branded Gift Card Program

Best use of a consumer-funded gift card or line of gift cards. Includes reloadable and nonreloadable network branded programs. For Paybefore’s purposes, card may mean a physical card or alternate form factor, including a virtual card. 

Best in Category: Western Union Gift and Greeting Cards


Left to right: Mike Hafer, Mark Ruthven &
Hal Pal, Western Union

  • The Western Union Company

The combination of price and personalization features makes the Western Union Gift and Greeting Cards a standout in the market. The MetaBank-issued MasterCard gift card, which is sold online, addresses the consumer’s need to send a heartfelt gift without the hassle and expense of purchasing a separate gift card, greeting card and postage. For only $5, Western Union customers can send the gift and add personalized touches that let the recipient know they care. Dozens of gift card designs are available for holidays, birthdays and more. As an added benefit, the purchaser can record a voice message for the receiver to hear when the card is activated.  

Western Union is known as a fast way to send money, but it transforms money into a personal gift through its gift card options, which also include expedited shipping for last-minute gift giving. A purchase as late as 9:30 p.m. EST will arrive on the following day.

The Western Union Gift and Greeting Card offers consumers unique personalization for an outstanding price. When compared to the cost and effort required to purchase and mail a standard greeting card with a network branded gift card, the Western Union Gift and Greeting Card provides consumers with a terrific personalized gift with superior value and convenience.


Winner: epay Gift Card 

  • epay
  • StoreFinancial Services
  • University National Bank

The epay Gift Card is a pre-denominated ($25, $50 and $100) Visa-branded gift card sold through epay’s distribution partners’ convenience stores and gas stations. The card, which launched prior to the 2012 holiday season, extends the reach of single-load Visa cards to stores that previously had few or no network branded gifting options—putting cards in locations people visit regularly. 

Retailers like being able to provide versatile products that meet multiple consumer needs, including gift, expense management and bill payment. Consumers like the epay Gift Card because they can get an appreciated gift for a special occasion or a budgeting tool for themselves without having to make a special stop at another store. The card issuer is University National Bank and the processor and program manager is StoreFinancial.

The epay Gift Card packaging is differentiated by denomination; the purchase experience is easy; the gifting ability is easily communicated and the Visa brand is prominently displayed so cardholders understand where the card can be used. epay and its partners are tapping the robust convenience store and gas channel and have plenty of room to expand the portfolio to new stores and new consumers.


Winner: OneVanilla 

  • InComm

The OneVanilla Visa gift card, available online and at retail, is promoted as a self-use prepaid card, providing consumers with a flexible cash alternative for their day-to-day spending needs. It can be used for online shopping, dining, travel, gas, groceries, downloading music and games, paying bills, money management and more.

Launched in January 2011, OneVanilla grew a remarkable 95 percent in 2012 and is projected to continue to make double-digit gains in the next two years. Funds on OneVanilla cards never expire, so cardholders can purchase the card for $4.95 without worrying about losing funds if they don’t spend their full balances within a specific time frame. OneVanilla is an entry point for consumers to test and trust prepaid for day-to-day transactions. Cardholders who like the benefits of electronic payments and would prefer a reloadable product may upgrade to a MyVanilla GPR card at no cost. 

OneVanilla puts purchasing power into consumers’ hands and caters to their needs, whether they need a gift for someone else or need a budgeting or online spending tool for themselves.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 at 10:13 am and is filed under Awards, Awards Global.


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