Consumers purchase Gift Cards from merchants. Merchants use in-store displays to merchandise Gift Cards as an impulse purchase marketing strategy. American Payment Systems offers Gift Card programs, allowing customers to purchase a Gift Card with cash, check or credit card for any dollar amount. The value or amount purchased is recorded as “stored value” or “prepaid” in the host database.
At the time of redemption, consumers spend the card’s stored value. The cardholder presents the Gift Card for full or partial payment of a purchase. The merchant swipes the card through the POS terminal for authorization and transmission of transaction data on the host platform. The card’s magnetic strip identifies the card number and merchant location for which the card has been issued.
Loyalty Cards drive return visits. Stored value technology provides the backbone for a variety of points-based loyalty card programs. Simple and powerful applications, like American Payment Systems Auto-Rewards, add value through a points-based system. Under this customizable program, a specific reward value is automatically added to your customer’s card when that customer has accumulated a designated number of points. Loyalty Card programs provide continuous motivation for return customers. The cycle of reloading and renewing earned credit on Loyalty Cards not only creates merchant-specific purchasing power, but it also repeats the cycle by providing motivation for customers to continuously return. The system of earning points for reward dollars and redemption of rewards is easy for the customer to use and understand and simple for sales associates to administer.
Consumers benefit from ease of use and reuse with Reload Incentives. The cardholder can purchase additional value or “reload” the card for any amount. Cardholders can make this transaction at the merchant site or over the phone. As an incentive marketing initiative, merchants often encourage customers to use card reloading by promoting increases in the customer’s stored-value amount by a given percentage. Promotions that increase stored value for reload purchase increase loyalty through merchant-specific buying power.
The stored-value card system operates in real time as a closed loop debit network. Data processing for transactions – such as card activations, sales, voids and balance inquiries from the point of sale – is transmitted to the data center. The transaction request is fulfilled or authorized, data is captured in the merchant or client database and an approval or request for information is transmitted via the POS terminal. Each transaction produces a paper receipt in duplicate via the POS printer, instantly providing transaction record and card balance for the merchant and the customer.
Evaluate your program’s value with our complementary reporting products. A monthly summary report of all transaction activity is provided via mail, e-mail or fax. In addition, a variety of program management reports are available 24/7 through our service provider. As a stored-value merchant, you can generate transaction detail reports that list every transaction for specific periods of time. You also have access to pooling reports that reconcile the imbalances created when cards are purchased at one merchant location and redeemed at another in a multi-store, multi-owner environment such as a franchise company.
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