Card fraud basically involves theft of identity or information on your cards.

The stealing can take place in one of the following ways:

1. Skimming

“This involves attaching a data skimming device in the card reader slot to copy information from the magnetic strip when one swipes the card,“ says Mohan Jayaraman, MD, Experian India.

“They also set up cameras near the machine to get the PIN,“ he adds

2. Card trapping

This is a barb that retains the card when you insert it in the machine and the card is retrieved later.

3. Shoulder surfing

If you find friendly bystanders in the room or outside who try to help you if your card gets stuck or peer over your shoulder, beware.

They are there to get you to reveal your PIN.

4. Leaving card PIN

If you write your PIN on the card and forget it in the ATM kiosk, it’s a virtual invite to be scammed.

5. Online transactions

The ease of e-shopping or online bill payment is matched by the felicity with which identity theft can be carried out on computer or smartphone.

Mumbai-based Girish Peswani knows it well. “I was in my office when I got alerts about online transactions abroad made using my credit card,“ he says. There are various ways this card information could have been stolen.

6. Pharming

In this technique, fraudsters reroute you to a fake website that seems similar to the original.

So even as you conduct transactions and make payment via credit or debit card, the card details can be stolen.

7. Keystroke logging

Here, you unintentionally download a software, which allows the fraudster to trace your key strokes and steal passwords or credit card and Net banking details.

8. Public Wi-Fi

If you are used to carrying out transactions on your smartphone, public Wi-Fi makes for a good hacking opportunity for thieves to steal your card details.

9. Malware

This is a malicious software that can damage computer systems at ATMs or bank servers and allows fraudsters to access confidential card data.

10. Merchant or point-of-sale theft

This is perhaps the most effective form of stealth, wherein your card is taken by the salesperson for swiping and the information from the magnetic strip is copied to be illegally used later.

11. Phishing & vishing

While phishing involves identity theft through spam mails which seem to be from a genuine source, vishing is essentially the same through a mobile phone using messages or SMS. These trick you into revealing your password, PIN or account number.

12. SIM swipe fraud

Here the fraudster contacts your mobile operator with fake identity proof and gets a duplicate SIM card.

The operator deactivates your original SIM and the thief generates one-time password (OTP) on the phone to conduct online transactions.

13. Unsafe apps

Mobile apps other than those from established stores can gain access to information on your phone and use it for unauthorised transactions.

14. Lost or stolen cards, interception

Transactions are carried out using stolen cards, those intercepted from mail before they reach the owner from the issuer, or by fishing out information like PINs and passwords from trash bins.

15. Cards using other documents

New cards are made by fraudsters using personal information stolen from application forms, lost or discarded documents.


Happily, following its breakout year in 2015, the mobile payments industry has seen continued innovation and growth in 2016.

So, as we approach the end of the year, what are the key trends and technologies that will shape the industry into 2017?

IoT and ‘invisible payments’

Providing the consumer with a truly frictionless experience is the holy grail for the payments industry. This has already been achieved in-app with platforms such as Uber, but has yet to be translated in-store.

In the IoT era, however, we are moving ever closer to delivering a seamless in-store experience. Beacons, geolocation, computer vision and biometric technologies are being combined to deliver a frictionless experience.

Indeed, the industry will closely be monitoring the success of Amazon Go, which is currently in beta but is expected to launch publicly in early 2017. The concept deploys various technologies (the exact details are yet to be released) that enables a consumer to walk into the store, pick up an item and walk out, with the order charged to their Amazon account upon leaving.

As well as Amazon Go, we also predict myriad other pilots, demos and announcements throughout 2017 that aim to move all stages of the in-store payments process – from initialization and authentication, right through to final confirmation – firmly into the background.

OEM Pay: Evolution, not revolution

Increased consumer awareness, ever-expanding acceptance and more mature offerings means that the various OEM Pay platforms will continue to go from nascent to mainstream in 2017.

The conversation surrounding mobile payments, however, will change. With ‘tap and go’ cultures becoming increasingly engrained, consumers now expect to be able to make contactless payments. The added convenience of paying with your mobile device is no longer the main driver of adoption.

Instead, the focus is shifting from changing the payments process into a ‘buying experience.’ The key to this is the specific, intelligent deployment of value-added services such as rewards, loyalty and couponing. For example, Apple has just partnered with Blackhawk Network to integrate eGifts, loyalty and rewards programs into Apple Pay. And Google has gotten into the festive spirit with Android Pay Christmas Crackers, which delivers rewards to users.

Chinese tech giants enter the fray

China is the world’s biggest mobile payments market, with transaction volume hitting $235 billion in 2015.

The dense regulatory framework, which precludes international companies, has seen AliPay and WeChat platforms establish a dominant market position.

The nature of the Chinese mobile payments market, however, has meant that it operated in essential isolation. Times are changing. For example, AliPay has recently announced partnerships to bring its service to Europe and Australia. The rapid global expansion of both the AliPay and WeChat platforms is likely to have huge implications across the entire payments industry. Although the platforms are currently aimed only at Chinese tourists abroad, it is apparent that the long-term strategy is to develop a global offering.

Alternative payment channels

More and more retailers are developing their own payment applications to control the payments process and deliver a unique, tailored experience, and we expect this will continue throughout 2017.

In addition, initiatives such as QR code mobile payments are enabling retailers to keep the payment process ‘in-house’ and reduce network fees. QR codes may not necessarily be the future, but the trend of retailers identifying and developing alternative payment channels is here to stay.


Each year brings new possibilities in mobile device technology. Smartphones have become more than just texting machines; they are now mini-computers, personal assistants and virtual shopping carts. More and more consumers would be lost without their smartphone, relying on it to get through the day.

Given the advances and rapid rate of new technologies, smartphones have become essential to how we live our lives. Technologies including mobile wallets, on-demand apps, a new era of digital assistants, and enhanced connectivity through near field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth are transforming the way consumers interact and rely on their phones.

The following takes a closer look at the top five mobile payment trends for 2017.

Mobile payments take the stage: At one-fourth the U.S. population, millennials will lead the charge to do away with credit cards and opt for the easy and seamless experience of mobile wallets. Using NFC technology, mobile wallets will exceed consumer expectations for convenience in 2017. With all the major players in the mobile device industry having delivered their own version of the mobile wallet (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay), and Apple Pay alone reporting a growth of one million new users per week, this technology will continue to convert users in the coming year.

All consuming on-demand: Mobile devices will drive the on-demand economy in 2017. In the coming year, consumers will increasingly demand their purchases be delivered or fulfilled much faster than the couple of days they’ve become accustomed to through services like Amazon Prime. In many instances, consumers want their orders within just a few hours. In 2017, consumers will opt to purchase or reserve items, track the status, receive updates and facilitate pick-up all from their smartphone. These real-time capabilities available through the smartphone will bolster the on-demand economy in the New Year.

Bluetooth on the rise:Bluetooth will expand in 2017. Thanks to Apple’s movement, consumers will become more adept at using wireless everywhere they go in the coming year.  This sets the stage for using Bluetooth in conjunction with mobile payments. Having gone through the initial hurdles of the adoption process these past few years, Bluetooth is now at a mature point and ready for widespread consumer adoption in 2017.

A new kind of personal assistant:Digital assistants will spark a new kind of relationship between consumers and their smartphones in 2017. Using data from Google, the new mobile device personal assistant is capable of connecting all that information and providing consumers helpful insights based on online habits, searches and behaviors. From alerting users of special deals on the products they use, to notifying them of new products they may like and where to find them, the modern personal assistant is as convenient as it is useful. This will further intensify consumer dependency on their mobile devices in 2017 as they interact with their smartphones on a more personal level.

The sharing economy: Innovations in mobile technology will drive the sharing economy in 2017. The new sharing economy will continue to morph into our everyday lives in the coming year as consumers increasingly demand fast and easy ways to share services.  For instance, new apps are popping up every day, offering all kinds of conveniences and things we never knew we needed. The profusion of on-demand apps and other mobile technologies will continue to facilitate the sharing economy in the coming year.

Whether it’s your first time experiencing the magic of tapping to pay for groceries or leaving behind the headaches of manually splitting up a dinner bill among friends, chances are 2017 is the year that you will become a member of the mobile payment economy. And like many that have come before you and even more that will come after you, the convenience and improved experience provided by mobile payment technology will make you a believer.


Peter Bauer, founder of Mimecast security company, offers some advice for SMEs looking to avoid email-based cyberattacks.

The first mistake that businesses make when it comes to email is to think that it’s a secure way to share information. So argues Peter Bauer, co-founder of Mimecast, an international security company that handles 145 billion emails worldwide.

“Email was never intended to be used in the way it is now. It’s not really kitted out for all of the risks associated with the internet; it was designed for a more trusting environment,” he explains.

And it’s a mistake to think that SMEs don’t present a worthwhile target. In fact, they present attractive opportunities. By simply setting up a free email address and a LinkedIn account for research, a hacker can go far.

“What does worthwhile mean?” asks Mr Bauer. “It’s relative to the cost of putting on an attack, and to the downside of getting caught.” Both are low when it comes to an attack on an SME, which makes them more appealing than larger corporations.

Each time an attempt to hack your company is made via email, there are one of two aims at play: to steal money, or gain information.
Small businesses should bear those purposes in mind, because they can be key to spotting – and stopping – hacks.

Do you really know who’s asking you for information?

“Hey, are you at your desk?” is often the first question an email hacker will ask, says Mr Bauer.

Having researched a company on Linkedin – or if they are already in the system, having read emails between colleagues to garner a sense of tone and topic – the attacker will build a dialogue and wait a realistic amount of time before sending responses.

Someone pretending to be the chief executive emailed the head of HR and said they needed the data

The only way to combat this, says Mr Bauer, is to make sure that two-step procedures are in place around transfers of business to confirm a person’s identity (known as a two-step verification). Ways to do this include an SMS message or a phone call with the person in question.

But beware smart hackers’ attempts to overcome security protocols with a carefully-tailored statement. “They will say that it’s confidential; it’s board-only knowledge, so don’t tell anyone. Not breaking those procedures becomes very important,” says Mr Bauer.

And having a process in place is only effective if it’s used every single time, he adds. “Many businesses fail to follow their own protocols.”

Small data leaks can cause a flood

The security costs of letting someone have access to financial or personal data can be epic. Mr Bauer cites Snapchat, which had the equivalent of its entire P60 data stolen. “Someone pretending to be the chief executive emailed the head of HR and said they needed the data for a review. It was just sent over. It was leaked,” says Mr Bauer.

Attackers aren’t always asking for big chunks of data or banking details. The request can be smaller and more subtle. A good example of this, says Mr Bauer, is the recent hacking of an email account of a key person in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The attacker sent someone an email saying that suspicious activity meant that they needed to change their login details as a precaution.

In this instance, even a cautious user wasn’t safe. “They forwarded the email to their IT department to check it was okay. The expert said it looked fine,” says Mr Bauer. “They followed the email link and entered their password. The attacker got into the inbox and stole emails before the person realised their password change hadn’t worked.”

Get security on the agenda and keep it there

As an evolving and costly threat to business operations, Mr Bauer believes that it’s time to get cybersecurity on the meeting agendas of SMEs. “There should be a [dedicated] section on it. Give a voice to people who know your [IT] vulnerabilities.

“You might not even realise that a laptop was stolen from a worker the week before with unencrypted information on it. Out of sight, out of mind.”

For businesses unsure of where to begin with their email security efforts, a good start is to educate users by showing them what scams look like. This will, he says, teach them to scan for “red flags”.

Any business that is alarmed will also be troubled by Mr Bauer’s prediction for the future cybercrime opportunities posed by the Internet of Things. “The biggest cybersecurity threat that’s coming up is from the number of devices that are being connected to the internet,” he says.

“We’ve grown up thinking of the web as something that’s on servers and displayed on screens, and the security industry has matured around that. But my new car is a computer on wheels. If someone hacks an electric car, which is permanently connected to the internet, they could crash it. It’s entirely plausible.”


Mobile security risks remain a serious concern for marketers and consumers alike now that a new report has shown that more than 200 different mobile applications and Web sites were leaking personally identifiable information over the course of the last year.

The data comes from a new report on data security from Wandera. The report studied mobile apps and sites from 20 different countries and found significant evidence of leaked information.

“Mobile is well and truly the new frontier for data security,” said Eldar Tuvey, CEO of Wandera. “It’s clear that security and compliance risks are far more formidable threats than previously thought.”

Personally identifiable information
With mobile increasingly being the preferred digital medium through which we live our lives, consumers are putting more and more personal information into their mobile apps and mobile Web sites.

Email addresses were the most likely to be leaked

Wandera wanted to put a rough estimate on how much of this information remains insecure. To do this, the company took a look at nearly four billion requests from across hundreds of thousands of devices in 20 countries.

The results showed that more than 200 different mobile apps and sites were vulnerable to leaked personally identifiable information, or PII.

PII consists of any information that can be used to link digital activity to a specific person. This can be account numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, transaction data or any number of data points that might be tie something to a specific person.

Mobile security
No one industry or category of mobile program is to blame for these vulnerabilities. The leaked data ranged from a wide variety of sources, including news, travel, sports, entertainment and mobile shopping.

Some types of Web sites were more prone to leakage than others. A shocking 80 percent of the top 50 adult Web sites were found to be leaking information.

Almost 60 percent of all leaks came from one of three categories: news/sports, business/industry and shopping.

Another potentially surprising detail is that despite its sharing-oriented nature and outsized popularity compared to other mobile services, social media accounted for only 2 percent of all leaks.

The silver lining is that the most valuable of data – things such as credit card information – was the least likely to be leaked, accounting for less than 3 percent of all leaks.

This data is important for mobile brands and marketers who want to gauge their audience’s response to security concerns.

A recent study found that more consumers would be willing to sacrifice some functionality or convenience for better protection and security (see story).

Taken together, these two reports show that brands and marketers may need to adjust their priorities in the balance between convenience and security to be more in line with consumer desire.

“With the reported cost of remedying a mobile breach in the US falling between $250,000 to $400,000 in many cases, enterprises need to take concrete steps to routinely monitor the data that flows to and from each individual device, identify potential security gaps and dynamically respond,” Mr. Tuvey said.



A new year is around the corner and we might see some new things in 2017. Four CEOs of leading Nordic ecommerce companies share their thoughts on what they think will be the key ecommerce trends in 2017.

According to Marcus Fredricsson from Swedish car service portal Mekster, dropshipping is over. Customers have stronger demands, which makes convenient shipping options more important. “Today more customers disqualify online retailers who send goods directly from suppliers, particularly in cases when the goods come from different suppliers since they then need to spend far too much time to collect the goods in different batches”, he says.

Focus more on logistics

The CEO also thinks smaller online retailers must be prepared to partially loosen the customer relationship and focus even more on the logistics so they can successfully offer their products through international marketplaces like Google Shopping and Amazon. “You need a tremendous control of the supply chain logistics to satisfy customers.”

Fredricsson also thinks highly of virtual reality. “Although the ecommerce industry hasn’t found a way yet to utilize the technology, I think they will take on VR in a big way in 2017.”


Cut out the middleman

Christoffer Tyrefors from Cykelkraft, Sweden’s largest online bicycle shop, thinks online retailers can do more themselves and only pay for actual delivery and thus cut out the middlemen. “Ecommerce players should find fundamental profitabilities of their core businesses and therefore needs to stop paying money to intermediaries.”

Rely less on Google and don’t get eaten

He also thinks Google has become way too powerful and online retailers are more dependent on the search engine than ever. “The ecommerce industry is feverishly looking for ways to reduce the importance of search, which in practice means to build brands. To build a brand requires something which happens to be the third major ecommerce trend in 2017 and that is: eat or get eaten”, he says, referring to large online market places that are being rolled out globally and the dominance of Google in the entire purchase process funnel. “Volume will become even more important. It translates to economies of scale, and with economies of scale it is easier to build the brand.”

Performance and sales will align more in 2017

Sven Hammer, CEO of monitoring platform Apica System thinks the B2B shopping experience will become more like B2C, as business-to-business retailers take advantage of all the actions the business-to-consumer industry took to improve their business models and shopping experiences. In less positive news, he thinks DDoS will continue to flood ecommerce website with disruptions and targeted. His third predicted trend is focused on analytics. “A platform that performs faster will lead to higher sales – a 100ms decrease in page load can increase sales by 1 percent. Performance and sales will align more in 2017 as organizations establish KPIs like web/cloud/app performance to increase profits”, he says.

The last CEO, Torkel Hallander from ‘ecommerce factory’ Nordic Etail, thinks SMR, “Sales Man Replication”, will become the new buzzword. “When ecommerce websites start acting like the world’s best salesman, shoppers will get a better experience and spread the world, but retailers will also increase their conversion rates and higher margins as result.”

Mobile engagement will increase influence over ecommerce

He also predicts mobile engagement will increase its influence over ecommerce. “Functionality for shopping mobile will reach new heights, selecting and choosing products, moving between devices, payments will be easier etc… but more importantly, the critical-mass hurdle for people to start realize they can do it in their phone has been passed: once you have purchased one thing in your phone, you will start wanting to do it all in the phone.”

Lastly, he thinks online stores and digital marketing will become even more targeted. In order to satisfy the customer and as a result maximize sales, online retailers will design their website presentation and their offering more for individual customer preferences, behaviors and purchasing power.


Deploying the human body as a recognition tool is the next wave that may soon make passwords redundant.

According to a global report released by JWT on the future of payments, there will be 471 million global biometrics smartphone users by 2017. That’s a huge potential market.

Here are five ways in which biometric solutions are making passwords redundant across the globe.

1. Fingerprints

Made popular by Apple Pay where Touch ID by Apple works on fingerprint recognition.

2. Voice

Authenticates a user based on numerous vocal characteristics like vocal tract geometry, harmonics, pitch and range.

3. Retina

Developed in the 1980s. This method is based on the blood vessels at the back of the eye that have a unique pattern for every individual.

4. Heartbeat

Heartbeat or ECG scanning is more complex and hence not as popular yet but could get there going forward.

5. Facial biometrics

Face recognition technology measures and matches unique characteristics for the purposes of identification or authentication.



Ninety percent of shoppers will use their smartphones in-store this holiday season, and that puts them at particular risk for cybercrime, according to a new report from Skycure.

As mobile continues to become the primary method of digital commerce for many shoppers, the threats to their financial safety grow. This holiday season, shoppers and retailers need to be on the lookout for both malicious applications posing as retail apps and for potential Wi-Fi hacking.


Security matters
This holiday season will be one of the biggest and now, more than ever, mobile will be leading the charge for shoppers who want to make smarter decisions.

But that new power that comes from increased mobile presence in the retail world comes with a few caveats that both consumers and retailers need to be on the lookout for.

For one, mobile as a channel is still vulnerable to threats from hackers.

Skycure looked at two ways that hackers could target mobile shoppers this holiday season.

The first is through tampering with Wi-Fi. As users continue to use their mobile devices in-store to make purchasing decisions, many of them will be looking for Wi-Fi to connect to to save on data costs.

Hackers can take advantage of this need in two ways. They can hack into a store or mall’s Wi-Fi and gather data from the connected devices, or they can set up their own Wi-Fi networks, misleading customers into thinking they are safe networks set up by the retailer they are currently visiting.

Once a shopper connects to one of these networks, the hackers now have a way in to their devices and the opportunity to steal valuable data.

Skycure compiled a list of which malls around the country were the most dangerous in this regard, with the highest amount of risky Wi-Fi networks. The top spot, a mall in Las Vegas, had 14 different Wi-Fi networks that could put customers at risk.

Malicious apps
The other problem that mobile shoppers face is the prospect of malicious apps posing as official retail apps.

Skycure found a number of examples of apps available on mainstream app stores that posed as official apps for well-known retailers. Brands such as Amazon and Starbucks were impersonated by apps that intentionally misrepresented themselves to appear reputable.

In reality, these apps contain malicious code that can work its way into a mobile device’s vulnerable areas.

One example, an app posing as an Amazon Rewards program, sent malicious code from the victim’s phone to others through SMS once it had been ingrained.

While shoppers are the ones who stand the most to lose from these types of scams, the impetus falls on both customers and retailers to take measures to fight these crimes. If not, they risk losing customers’ precious trust in both them and the mobile channel, shutting off an entire source of revenue and brand goodwill.


Make content short, responsive and simple, and cut the steps involved in purchasing processes, say these experts.

1. Have you stripped away any unnecessary content?

Tips by Dean Ronnie, content marketing manager, Miromedia

“Get rid of any graphics, videos, animations or anything else that means your mobile website takes forever to load. When optimising, consider that the visitor may not be viewing your site using a strong Wi-Fi connection. They could be viewing it via a prehistoric 3G connection (or worse). Slow loading means frustration for the customer, which means they will tap away and shop somewhere else.

“You also need to make sure that your mobile landing pages are right for the user and that they navigate to the page that’s relevant. If a user is looking to purchase fireworks, for instance, the page should have clearly laid-out products that can be quickly and easily purchased without having to navigate elsewhere. Also ensure that pages are easy to move around, easy to buy from and, of course, make sure your products are at the right price.

“Don’t be precious about anything. If it’s unnecessary for mobile, get rid. Most of the time, people are using their mobiles to make a decision, not research.”

2. Have you made the purchasing process ludicrously easy?

“Mobile browsing is all about convenience. People want to do things quickly. They don’t want to be going through multiple stages before they can buy something. So make the purchasing process as simple as possible by using the available technology – and that includes in-store. Make paying as simple as entering a password or scanning your fingerprint.

“Simplify the checkout process as much as you can. Ask your customers to enter only the necessary information. Ideally, your checkout process should be three steps or fewer.

“Think about integrated marketing as well. If using an app, include a ‘buy’ button that seamlessly allows the person to purchase without an interrupted experience.

“If you want to look to the (near) future, the next big thing looks to be shopping via Instagram. With its new ‘shop now’ feature, retailers will be able to tag products in images. By tapping these, users will immediately be taken to the relevant webpage to buy. It’s welcome news for businesses that sell niche products.”

3. Consider the context of the user experience

Tip by Inigo Antolin, head of marketing, Appleyard London

“Make your mobile site as fast as you can. Half of users expect mobile websites to load in less than two seconds, or they will leave, according to data from Kissmetrics. Bear in mind that mobile usage is already bigger than desktop, but it tends to be more on the go. It can happen on a short tube ride, or in a supermarket queue. Whatever the situation, mobile experiences tend to be really short.

“SMEs have just a few seconds or minutes before the user jumps into the next thing, because, for example, the train has already arrived at its destination.”

4. Does your website fit the device screen size?

“Having a responsive site is a must. I would recommend that businesses start by asking themselves: what time of the day and which days of the week do mobile users visit our site? Which devices do they use? Do they spend less or more than desktop? How do they pay for purchases?

Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you work out the answers to these questions. The next step is to run different tests for a limited time and learn from them. This needs to be an ongoing process, because mobile usage also depends on different factors, such as the weather. Sunshine, for example, means that users tend to spend more time outdoors and using more their mobiles.

“As a flower retailer, Monday is a really important day, on mobile and desktop. But this depends a lot on the industry, or even the specific page of the site. For example, the pages that we have promoting Sunday delivery don’t get any traffic until Wednesday, peaking on Saturday morning.”

5. Are you trying to run before you can walk?

Tip by Daniel Döderlein, chief executive, AUKA

“SMEs must figure out how using mobile can enhance the customer’s existing experience. For retailers, the end goal is to make their life as easy and pain-free as possible, to keep them coming back.

“That includes making it easy for shoppers to put items in their shopping basket, right through to the payments process (even providing automatic e-receipts). All of these things make the difference on mobile.

“Other examples of how we used m-commerce include scannable purchase codes in shop windows and magazines, with special offers to entice people in store. Remember, m-commerce also facilitates push-notifications based on geo-locations, enabling you to target and market like never before.

“The data you collect via mobile also gives you, as the retailer, a deeper level of customer insight, which is the key to unlocking a whole new level of marketing power for your business.”


One of the most talked about gifts this holiday season might not be a physical one, but a digital one. According to a recent Mercator Advisory Group study, egifts accounted for 18 percent of the reported gift card loads in 2015, an 80 percent increase from the previous year. With the rise in popularity among consumers, retailers are beginning to leverage egifts for more than just products to sell and are incorporating them into reward and rebate programs.

Electronic gift cards, or egift cards, are delivered digitally, including via email, SMS text, social media or app, and can be redeemed either in-store or by using the gift code online. Ease-of-use, personalization options and fast delivery are a few of the reasons egifts are quickly increasing in popularity.

Here’s why, in addition to being a valuable gift option, egifts are also a valuable rebate reward or incentive option for retailers and consumers around the holidays.

Omnichannel flexibility

Savvier shoppers combined with innovation in retail have transformed the landscape of holiday shopping into an omnichannel experience. Consumers quickly move from shopping at brick-and-mortar stores to shopping online or on their mobile devices and back, and want to do so seamlessly. According to a recent study by the Retail Gift Card Association, omnichannel flexibility is key for consumers, with 87 percent of gift card recipients wanting to be able to redeem their cards online or in-person as they choose. Egifts responds to this desire better than other promotional rewards.

Holiday shopping or gifting with egift rewards

Around the holidays, some shoppers may like to use loyalty program and rebate rewards to help offset the cost of holiday shopping and gift giving. Retailers can make it easy for shoppers to redeem and use their rewards via various channels or even gift them to someone else. Once an egift reward is received, the recipient can print it out, store it on their phone, save it to their mobile wallet—or, in some cases—re-gift it to someone else entirely.

Elevated brand interaction

When a traditional reward check is cashed, a consumer’s experience with the brand is over. With egifts, however, the brand can remain top of mind for much longer. First, the reward is received via email, text or app, and the retailer’s messaging is present. Next, as the reward is saved or stored, it acts as a mini billboard in the recipient’s mobile wallet or inbox. Finally, when the reward is redeemed, the recipient is reminded of his or her engagement with the retailer.

Directing spendback is also valuable during the holidays. Unlike checks, egifts offered by retailers as rewards incent shoppers to return to that store (online or in person) and, according to the consumer gift card survey by RGCA, the consumers surveyed typically spend more than they have on a gift card by $20.

As retailers plan their holiday promotional and loyalty strategies, egifts should be considered for inclusion in the reward mix as a win-win option. Recipients will appreciate the flexibility, ease-of-use and fast delivery. Plus, retailers can find value in the additional opportunities for brand messaging and interaction with their consumers during the hectic and crowded holiday marketing season.