On 24th March Gyft has officially announced that their gift cards are now accepted in shopping venues of the Walmart Company, including the discounter Sam’s Club. The arrangement palpably increases the amount of venues accepting Bitcoin and the variety of products to be exchanged for the virtual asset.
Principles of Operation
The Coin Telegraph has already reported about the service Gyft and the goods it provides to its customers. The gift cards issued have denominations of $25, $50, $100, $250 and $500. Spending them brings 3% back in form of loyalty points some compare to a discount equal to 3% on further cards.
The Walmart Company has more than 11000 physical presences in 27 countries, most of them located in the USA, followed by Canada. The cards purchased from Gyft might be exchanged for goods as groceries or clothes and even gas just by presenting them to the cashier, who has to scan the bar-code from a piece of paper of a mobile device.
Paper gift cards might be received at customer and support centers of the retail network. The gas stations accept only printed versions, so customers have to remember this condition and prepare in advance.
Comments from Gyft
Gyft CEO Vinny Lingham is pleased to speak on the matter, as he sees it as a definite success bringing his company forwards and many steps ahead of possible competitors.
Summing up the recent results:
“I think it’s pretty clear that we’ve built a great interface, we have great customers and we offer a great user experience. [...] We’ve built a brand, and retailers see that we have a very valuable position as an alternative to the plastic gift card on the rack model.”
Mr. Lingham believes that this new option will provide extra privacy to the customers unwilling to share personal data with merchants.
“Privacy is important, and the gift card market is a way to offer that. If you want privacy, you can use bitcoin and PayPal with us.”
Three months ago Vinny Lingham has also made a statement on Reddit, which includes interesting instruction for those, who would like to start to accept Bitcoin and integrate the virtual asset in the selling process. There are 5 recommendations the Coin telegraph is reprinting with no alterations:
1. Start accepting Bitcoin, but don't convert it all to fiat - just convert what you need for cash flow purposes (we have to repurchase gift cards as inventory - our biggest cost, outside of salaries and taxes). The more you keep and spend in BTC the stronger the economy will become. Store as much of your Bitcoin sales margin in BTC, where possible.
2. Start giving your employees Bitcoin, even if they earn and need fiat to survive. Get everyone in the company using it where possible - we even have the Expensify BTC reimbursement option at Gyft. We give all our employees Bitcoins from time to time in addition to their salaries.
3. Pay your suppliers in Bitcoin - at least, those who will accept it. It's getting a lot easier to these days - luckily and circulating Bitcoins is the best way to strengthen this economy.
4. Don't hoard Bitcoin in your company either, spend them. They are only worth what they are worth at the point in time you spent them. Have no regrets. We recently paid a real Bitcoin company over 250 BTC in October. They held the coins and made more than 5x their money (in fiat equivalent). I'm really happy for them and it's good for the economy. We didn't lose out on that gain - as we had earmarked those coins for them so we booked it at the dollar cost - no loss to us, but a gain to them.
5. Pass your credit card savings back your customers. We give 3% back for all Bitcoin purchases. All companies accepting Bitcoin should do something like this - because if they are not, they are essentially charging you more than their credit card customers who earn points using a credit card. We have found that 1 in 4 purchases at Gyft now include redeeming Gyft points earned from our 3% back, as part of their purchase. It's been a fantastic loyalty driver for us. If you convert costs into a benefit and you will find a winning value proposition for customers in everything you do.
Currently, the interest of experts of finance and economy is headed towards the statistics of the project that might become the best promotion of the service and Bitcoin in general. The Coin telegraph will follow the project.
· The Coin Telegraph on Gyft
· Vinny Lingham on Reddit