Doling out cash for gift cards for clients and business associates is getting a new twist — not paying unless the cards are redeemed.
That’s the hook a Victoria company is hoping will make it top of mind in the virtual-gift-card game.
Kiind has launched a service at Kiind.me that allows companies to send a variety of personalized gift cards to whoever is on their list, but if those gifts don’t appeal to the receiver, the company isn’t billed.
“That $100 gift card then would cost them just 49 cents [the processing fee per gift card], not $100,” said Leif Baradoy, CEO of Kiind.
When the company conceived of the idea, it initially focused on consumer gift giving but soon switched to the potentially more lucrative business market.
“We realized business professionals more consistently send gifts and were looking for more of a tool they could commit to,” Baradoy said. “Plus, we can help them maximize the [return on investment] of gifting by saving them money and giving them information.”
The information in question: knowing what does and doesn’t work and appeal to important clients.
“If it’s not used, maybe next time don’t send them to that same restaurant,” he said.
To use the service, businesses set up an account at Kiind.me where they can choose gift cards from a suite of companies in the area — right now there are 11 local firms involved — write a personalized note, perhaps include their own company logo and hit enter.
An email with that personalized message and card is then sent to the receiver with a code. The bearer can take that code either on their smartphone or as a printout to the vendor indicated and redeem their gift.
Only at that point is the sender billed. Kiind takes a portion of the amount of the gift card sold, plus the cost of processing the transaction.
“There’s lots of individual sites where you can buy and send gifts to people, but the void we saw was a lack of information on when gifts were received and whether they were enjoyed,” Baradoy said.
The service has also been used by some businesses to offer clients an incentive to bring them more business — like offering a free drop-in for a friend the next time they come to yoga.
Baradoy said the company intends to expand the service to new cities and ideally to more partners. He said they have been selective with the companies they have used in order to establish Kiind as a quality service.
“We’re not looking for just anything, so when you send someone a gift from Kiind, you know it will be great,” he said.
The company has offered a private beta version since July and has had more than 100 businesses try it. Now it’s available to the public.
Baradoy admits the company is launching a little late in the holiday season to take advantage of corporate giving, but he’s confident the firm is on solid ground.
“Oh yeah, there’s a longer game here,” he said.
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