Mall-Specific Gift Cards
Large retailers often own the mall estate and are looking to promote their closed or restricted loop cards at every merchant location in the mall. It is not unusual for malls to be positioned next to one another, so competition is fierce, and some malls are looking to issue their own card to increase their attractiveness over others nearby. Mall-specific, or restricted loop, gift cards are sold, and importantly, can be redeemed, only in a particular mall. This keeps revenue within the issuing mall, rather than allowing it to be transferred to branches and franchises outside.
Some malls use free gift cards that tenants can give away to customers during store opening events. Being restricted loop cards, they can only be spent on the premises, and they encourage customers to shop here and now.
Ogloba – An Experienced Provider of Flexible Solutions
Ogloba has years of experience being the sole solution provider for retailers’ gift card and pre-paid card programs. We have built long-term partnerships around the globe, tailoring our offering to meet the needs of individual clients. For example, clients operating a single mall may require several sets of gift cards for personal occasions such as Shopping Cards, Happy Birthday Cards, and Congratulations Cards, sets of cards specially printed for public occasions (Happy New Year, National Holidays, events organized in the mall, or events in collaboration with external partners such as “The French Month” and “New Mall Opening”.
Equally, many of our clients operate a number of mall locations, so require their card programs to be managed centrally via a single interface, while the cards must be available and compatible in every single mall that the group is operating.
While some malls sell the cards through a central customer service point, other clients of Ogloba allow tenants to sell and activate cards. The Ogloba platform allows a simple clearing method to be put in place. The tenant selling the card receives a 1% commission, while the one accepting a card redeem charges 2.5%. The clearing is processed daily by direct debit and credit of the bank accounts. The activated amounts are collected by the mall authorities, net of the 1% commission. Redeems are paid by the mall, net of the 2.5% charge, and both activations and redeems are balanced to give a net pay or collection.
In a mall configuration, due to the large variety of cashiers in place in tenants’ shop, it is not possible to integrate the gift card solution into the cashiers, like Ogloba does for some clients. Instead, each participating tenant has to have in place a dedicated POS terminal in order to activate, redeem and reload cards. Each POS simply has the five functions needed to carry out gift card transactions: Redeem, Reload, Activate, Void and Check Balance. The POS are linked to the Ogloba system via the Internet, telephone lines or wirelessly (Ethernet / GPRS), and the clearing and reconciliation are automatically processed via the Ogloba system. Managers of each mall have access to the Ogloba Back Office platform, so they can manage the program.
Whatever the desired model of distribution, Ogloba help in the design of the cards, and the Ogloba solution allows the different promotions and programs to be configured and managed from one Back Office platform.
How It Works
Typically, shoppers buy cards at a gift card counter or from a specific merchant. B2C in-store displays are used to merchandise gift cards much like they would any small impulse-buy product; they are placed by the cash register with counter signs and colorful card hangers. A customer purchases a gift card with cash, check or credit card for any amount desired. The cards are easy for shoppers to purchase, use, and recharge.
The Customer Service officer activates the card by swiping it on the POS, and loads the card with credit if needed. Prior to this operation, the cards on the shelves are inactivate and cannot be used. When the recipient wants to purchase an item using the cards, the sellers simply swipe the cards on the POS, an action which also triggers security verification. Assuming the card is valid, the transaction is sent to the Ogloba platform for verification, and once the acceptance message has been received, the vendor can input the sale into the cash register in exactly the same way they would do with cash, or a credit card payment.
At the end of each business day, the Ogloba system sends a reconciliation and clearing protocol to the mall, which knows exactly how much money it has to redistribute to tenants, minus the fees and commission they have negotiated with tenants beforehand.
Clients in some countries have reported that, thanks to a breakage rate of 8% (unused balance of expired cards and that is never used) the gift card program is self-sufficient.