Digital gift card platform to transform local industrySunday, May 09, 2021
SET to offically launch in the country later this month, BlinkSky Jamaica, a new digital platform, believes that through the use of technology it will revolutionise the local e-gift card industry.
With the gift card industry valued at billions globally, the company said it is seeking to create value-added opportunities for merchants and customers through a new and innovative, touchless, technology- driven-type service. With this product the company will be looking to increase revenues for local merchants by up to 25 per cent in line with global operators who have used e-gift cards to boost their brick and mortar operations and to build out brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Major global retailers such as Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Chipotle and Target, among others, currently offer these type of solutions. These cards make it convenient for customers to pay for purchases using an app or in-establishment card reader.
Marc Panton, founding shareholder and principal of BlinkSky Jamaica, said the platform will afford greater opportunities for merchants to adopt more technology solutions for customers.
“We already have over 20 local merchants within our system who will be using the BlinkSky Jamaica platform to provide digital gift cards for customers and team members of companies.
“The target we have is to enrol more than 100 local merchants over the next six months and to offer seamless gifting using technology that will make it instantaneous for merchants and consumers to send and redeem gift cards and reduce paper usage,” he said.
The launch of BlinkSky Jamaica signals the shift by local businesses as they seek to harness the power of digital to respond, recover, and thrive in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and as more companies chart the path of e-commerce.
“We recognise that BlinkSky Jamaica is entering the local space at a critical time. In the wake of the pandemic, major brands globally have had to get creative and come up with new options to get their products to their customers. We're excited to be providing such a solution for Jamaican brands,” Panton said, noting that as a turnkey digital solution that is low-cost to consumers, the product is expected to be widely adopted.
The launch of the platform, the company said, will allow businesses to lead a new frontier for zero-production, real time, closed-loop digital gift card solutions – including a more structured reward system for customers. The digital gift cards to be presented to recipients via secured text message and/or email require no app and are to protect customers against fraud due to their built-in security mechanism.
“Each BlinkSky Jamaica digital gift card is protected by a personal identification number (PIN) and can be redeemed online or in-store using the barcode and voucher code on the card. Built-in, real time balance tracking also allows recipients to confidently obtain their remaining balances once a redemption is completed,” Panton explained.
With local brands such as Fontana and Juici Patties already on board, the company is seeking to add more outlets including restaurants and retail outlets to its platform. The company, which already partners with a wide selection of international brands, has clientele in a number of countries including the United States, Canada, UK, Philippines, Brazil, and India.
“We are ready and our goal is to ensure that every Jamaican brand and company has the opportunity to offer their consumers greater access to products, and in real time, through a fully digital shopping experience,” Panton stated.
A recent user of the BlinkSky Jamaica platform commenting on the experience said that, “I was able to send my team member a digital gift card to their phone for Fontana to reward them for a job well done on a project. To see it all happen within minutes was truly exciting and I am glad to see that I can gift local brands to my team.”
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