Barclaycard is partnering with payment services vendor Card Commerce to launch a service for UK retailers looking to offer pre-paid gift cards to customers.
The new service - offered by Barclaycard Business - will enable retailers to offer own-branded gift, savings club and refund cards to customers in a more cost effective and convenient way, says the bank.
The nationwide launch of the gift card service follows a three month pilot with Autonomy, a ladies clothes chain operating stores around the country.
Barclaycard Business says the pre-paid technology can be integrated into its existing payment terminals, with no additional equipment required.
Retailers also have access to real time online management information, enabling them to track transaction details and monitor outstanding card balances. The store's own customers are able to track transactions and outstanding balances by visiting a dedicated Web site.
Commenting on the new product, Bill Thomson, MD, Barclaycard Business, says: "The set-up is very quick and easy and retailers are attracted to the all in one solution whereby they only have to deal with one supplier. Barclaycard Business will be working with Card Commerce and its business customers in order to take a lead role in this market and we anticipate significant retailer demand for this product."
Barclaycard cites 2007 Payment Services Report figures suggesting the pre-paid card market will be responsible for 3.1 billion transactions in Europe and a turnover of EUR79 billion by 2010.
Last month card operator and payments processor Retail Decisions revealed plans to enter the UK pre-paid gift card market through a partnership with shirt maker Thomas Pink.