UK card operator and payments processor Retail Decisions (ReD) is entering the UK pre-paid gift card market through a partnership with shirt maker Thomas Pink.
ReD says the Pink gift card will offer the shirt maker's customers a secure and convenient alternative to vouchers.
The card, which can be charged with any value, is redeemable in Thomas Pink's UK and US stores and via interactive voice recognition (IVR). ReD says the shirt maker can also develop promotional, event-specific cards for marketing campaigns.
The vendor says the fact it has its own fraud prevention technology and can monitor both purchases and redemption of gift cards was a major factor in winning the Thomas Pink deal. In addition, unlike vouchers, gift cards hold no value until they are activated, enabling retailers to market them in-store without fear of theft.
Jonathan Heilbron, MD, Pink, says: "The adoption of gift cards over paper vouchers is a key development for Pink, enabling the business to incorporate cards into marketing efforts, remove the manual reconciliation required with vouchers and minimise theft and fraud."
ReD is already an established player in the Australian pre-paid market after paying A$30 millioin for E Com Industries in 2005. The vendor says it is now looking to take advantage of the growing demand from European companies for the cards.
The firm cites figures from Boston Consulting Group for MasterCard which predict the UK pre-paid card market is set to become the biggest in Europe, with a total spend of £17 billion by 2010.