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First Data Announces Agreement to Acquire Gyft, the Leading Digital Platform that Enables Consumers to Buy, Send, Manage and Redeem Gift Cards Using Mobile Devices
|By Business Wire
|July 30, 2014 10:47 AM EDT
Data, the global leader in payment technology and services
solutions, has taken a key step to provide consumers with spending
flexibility and help businesses grow through the acquisition of Gyft
Inc., the Silicon Valley-based company that entered the $100 billion
gift card market in 2012 and pioneered the concept of a mobile wallet
for gift cards. Gyft is the leading digital platform that enables
consumers to buy, send, manage and redeem gift cards using mobile
devices. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction
is expected to close next month pending Gyft shareholders approval.
The power of Gyft is in the mutual benefit it provides to both consumers
and merchants. As more consumers upload gift cards into mobile wallets
on smart phones to check balances or receive offers, and merchants seek
new ways to nurture customer engagement, the gift card has been born
again, digitally, through Gyft.
With more than 200 of the most recognized retailers on its digital gift
card platform, Gyft is a mobile wallet accessible by website and as a
free app on iPhone and Android devices. The company brings an active and
loyal user base of demographic groups such as millennials, who
increasingly expect a highly personalized customer experience. Now,
First Data’s clients, including its more than 300 national retail
prepaid clients, will have access to this new and growing distribution
channel to adopt the next level of gifting, expand their gift card
footprint and programs and add choice for consumers. In addition, to
bring these new tools to small business owners who have adopted First
Data’s Clover™ Station, an elegant touchscreen point-of-sale solution,
Gyft for SMBs will be added to the Clover App Marketplace.
Virtual and mobile cards are gaining share rapidly in the near $100
billion U.S. gift card market. Retailers reported that, on average,
loads onto digital cards tripled from 2012 to 2013, according to
Mercator Advisory Group’s annual survey of retailers. First Data’s
research shows that electronic gift card sales grew 71 percent from 2012
to 2013. “Retailers need to begin tapping into digital distribution
channels to be responsive to early-adopter customers and stay
competitive for the long term,” said Ben Jackson, Director of Mercator’s
prepaid advisory service.
“Gyft, with its mobile gifting platform, and First Data, with its global
scale and distribution network, together will accelerate the growth of
virtual prepaid with powerful new tools for merchants of all sizes to
deepen their relationships with their customers,” said Guy Chiarello,
president, First Data. “This means that the same robust toolset deployed
by big box retailers will be coming soon to small- to mid-sized
businesses, perfectly synched with our mission to offer innovative
solutions to help our clients grow.”
“We are joining First Data to accelerate our growth and significantly
improve the gift card experience for both customers and retailers,” said
Vinny Lingham, co-founder and chief executive officer, Gyft. “As a part
of First Data’s suite of innovation-powered products, Gyft will be added
to a portfolio of technology-driven gift solutions that link advanced
consumer-engagement technology with point-of-sale business solutions.”
Gyft’s exceptional capabilities affirmed by the top 200 retailers in
less than the last two years, combined with First Data’s long-standing
leadership in prepaid solutions and unmatched position serving millions
of merchants create a distinct combination in a rapidly growing market
for virtual gift cards. Data analytics and management tools enable gift
card merchants to send targeted, cost-effective, flexible campaigns
directly to new demographic groups – opening new markets that were
previously not easily accessible. Gyft’s social media platforms offer
retailers meaningful customer interaction and real-time promotions that
will drive revenue, encourage social sharing and build brand awareness.
Additionally, Gyft operates as a comprehensive engine for bulk gift card
sales that can be used for incentive marketing and promotions by
employers and businesses.
The agreement announced today is the latest in a series of innovative
solutions introduced by First Data over the last 12 months to help
merchants and financial institutions grow.
Gyft was founded in January 2012, Gyft provides a gift card platform for
consumers and retailers that lets customers upload, buy, send and redeem
gift cards conveniently from their mobile devices. Gyft is seamlessly
integrated with Facebook so users can send gift cards to their friends
around special events. For more information, visit http://www.gyft.com.
About First Data
Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment
transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions
and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and
expertise to drive client revenue and profitability. Whether the choice
of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone,
online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to
go beyond the transaction. More information about the company is
available on FirstData.com
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