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Giftbit is Giving You Your own Online Currency and Gift Cards

When Leif Baradoy was help­ing his broth­er move he found a draw­er full of unused gift cards. This was the inspi­ra­tion for Gift­bit, the com­pa­ny Baradoy would go on to found with Peter Locke. Gift­bit offers com­pa­nies a ser­vice where they can send cus­tomers dig­i­tal gift cards with set expi­ra­tion dates through email, then fol­low up via email to remind the cus­tomers to use the cards before they expire. Because of their busi­ness mod­el, the com­pa­ny los­es no mon­ey if the cus­tomer does­n’t respond. “Gift­bit cus­tomers are able to track, audit, and man­age their gift card offers and cam­paigns down to the recip­i­ent lev­el,” Baradoy told Geek­Wire last fall.

The com­pa­ny received ven­ture fund­ing ear­ly in 2016 from Founder’s Co-op and Freestyle, and in the time between then and now have iden­ti­fied a need that they have just announced dur­ing TechCrunch Dis­rupt SF that they will fill, the need for a busi­ness to be able to cre­ate their own dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy on the fly and in what­ev­er form they want — pro­mo codes, refund cred­its, or dig­i­tal gift cards for sale.

This new offer­ing can help busi­ness­es in a num­ber of ways, but the one that jumps out to me is retain­ing prof­its when a cus­tomer decides they want a refund. Just as many Cre­at­ing brand­ed gift cards isn’t a brand new idea. brick and mor­tar stores will offer in-store cred­it for returns, Gift­bit’s new ser­vice will let e‑commerce retail­ers do the same. And the SaaS pro­gram is sim­ple and flex­i­ble, with­out the need to set up refund cred­its, or any oth­er form of dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy, ahead of time in a sys­tem. If they have a return, they can sim­ply cre­ate the brand­ed cred­it right then and there as needed.

Cre­at­ing brand­ed gift cards isn’t a brand new idea.  Nor is it exclu­sive to Gift­bit. But the new sub­scrip­tion ser­vice will be much eas­i­er and sim­pler for busi­ness­es, as well as much less expen­sive. For an ini­tial 1000 codes, which can be used any way the com­pa­ny sees fit, they only pay $90. That’s $.09 per code, which is very afford­able for the ben­e­fits they offer. Beyond that, they drop dras­ti­cal­ly in price to $15 for each addi­tion­al 1000 codes. The ser­vice is accom­plished through an API that does­n’t require an exten­sive cod­ing or devel­op­ment team to han­dle. Just about any small busi­ness will be able to take advan­tage of the pro­gram both from a finan­cial and a tech­ni­cal point of view. The API drops right into an exist­ing check­out sys­tem almost seam­less­ly. The codes can be added to a cus­tomer’s dig­i­tal wal­let, and just like Gift­bit’s exist­ing ser­vice every­thing is track­able in detailed reports so the busi­ness can see what’s work­ing and what isn’t effective.

This secure, PCI com­pli­ant, and scal­able sys­tem will also soon be inte­grat­ed with tools like Sales­Force and Zapi­er and avail­able to Shopi­fy Plus mer­chants. They cur­rent­ly have a staff of 18, but with the new ser­vice and the busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties it promis­es they could be scal­ing that work­force very soon. If dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy is your pas­sion and you want some­thing a lit­tle more com­mer­cial that Bit­coin, Gift­bit might be a good place for you to apply.

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