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Going Digital: E-Gift Cards Post Triple-Digit Growth

Consumers in India are increasingly turning to physical and digital gift cards. A new study showed that providers issued some 50 million gift cards over the past year, up from 20 million from the previous 12 months, an increase of 150 percent, according to a report in the India-based Business Standard.

The study came from Qwikcilver Solutions, one of the country’s gift card providers. Over the past three years, digital gift card transactions in India have increased by approximately 200 percent, while transactions for physical gift cards have increased by 41 percent. The growth in those digital card transactions is happening as commerce and payments become more mobile in India, partly as a response to the country’s discontinuation of some paper currency. About 50 mobile wallets operate in the country, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

Like their counterparts in other markets, consumers who use gift cards tend to spend more, Qwikcilver said. Its study found that most of gift card holders spent more than 50 percent more than the gift card value when shopping at retail stores. Those consumers don’t wait too long to redeem those cards, either—54 percent of them spent the value of their cards within 30 days of receipt.

Digital gift cards don’t just appeal to a growing segment of Indian consumers, of course. Blackhawk Network in 2016 found that 71 percent of U.S. shoppers had bought at least one digital gift card within the previous year, which compares with 89 percent who had bought physical gift cards. Additionally, 42 percent of consumers had bought digital gift cards for both gifts and self use, Blackhawk said.

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