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Business  15, Apr 2014

Not happy with your loyalty points? Exchange them on Giift now!

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Launched by a Singaporean company, Giift has a network of 2,500 loyalty programmes such as The Body Shop, KrisFlyer, H&M and Xbox Live

You probably have more loyalty cards and membership points than you remember. Ever wished for a tool to manage all your cards?

Launched six months ago under Gift Management Asia Pte Ltd, which was founded in 2012 by Pascal Xatart, Laurent Xatart and Jean Herbière in Singapore, Giift is a digital loyalty card network available on the web that operates and keeps track of air miles, membership points and gift cards.

In addition, it helps consumers buy and sell gift cards on its exchange. For example, users can exchange gift cards they don’t particularly need, and in some cases, even have the monetary value of the card transferred into their PayPal accounts.

The transaction process, of course, is laden with terms and conditions. Another thing to note is that users can only exchange gift cards with their friends.

At the moment, there are more than 2,500 programmes on the network such as The Body Shop, KrisFlyer, H&M and Xbox Live, and more than 150,000 users on board.

Xatart, who spearheads a 30-staff team, told e27 that the company has two audiences: consumers and brands. Not only does Giift provide consumers with the ability to store, check, and convert points, it offers the retailer an opportunity to engage its existing base of loyal customers.

If the retailer does not have a loyalty programme in place, Giift can issue and operate everything digitally — from distribution to redemption, which is one way of generating revenue by providing a service. Furthermore, if the retailer, like any big brand out there, has an existing programme, the platform can help them to send out customised information to customers. He added, “It’s a way for retailers to engage with all their customers on a one-to-one basis.”

When e27 tested the service with multiple loyalty programmes, we realised that some programmes require users to input their points manually.

Also Read: 80% likely to shop at stores with loyalty programmes: Nielsen

Growing in US and China
According to Xatart, the two biggest markets in terms of potential for growth are the US and mainland China. The former, of course, has big brands where loyalty programmes are a staple of a good retail experience. The latter, on the other hand, has seen a surge of new local and foreign retailers, that would want to integrate such services into its customer retention strategy.

For the record, Gift Management had initially self-financed itself with a US$1.5 million investment, and later secured funds from external investors to scale the business. In addition, it has offices in Singapore, Beijing (China), Paris (France) and New York, US.

In the next six months, the team is looking to increase its user base “as quickly as possible” and monetise the bigger programmes, like air miles, for instance. “We don’t want to be just a digital wallet. … We also want to help people to convert and redeem,” said Xatart.

Also Read: Jason Lamuda: E-commerce is a lot like traditional retail

Having lived in many countries including America, Xatart noted that Singapore is a “very international” country. “It’s a global hub. It’s open to the world. It’s close to many great markets… It’s … becoming a technology hub. … We wanted to act global from day one,” he concluded.

In Asia, Giift faces competition from Perx and Perkd — both of which are mobile loyalty apps, and ShopGuru who fuses software and hardware to reward loyal customers of big retailers. However, the difference lies in that Giift has a bigger network of brands involved, and is only available on the web.

Here is a video of Giift in action:

Elaine Huang

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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