First Data Corp. announced this week that the company has received a patent on technology that can activate all the cards in a multi-pack of gift cards at once. The company says that this will help gift card sales, especially those that are used for incentives. While the patent will doubtlessly save time at the point of sale, questions remain over just how many multi-packs are sold and how much value they offer to consumers.
Additionally, while First Data touts this as a way to increase business to business sales, it raises the issues of card marketing and compliance with the card act. Incentive cards have an exemption, but that can be lost if the cards are perceived as gift cards. The company will need to be careful with marketing this and consider ways to position these multipacks as a true incentive product rather than just a way to buy more gift cards at once.
The value of this patent will be proven over time, depending on how many multipacks are sold and whether those packs do create a value for consumers and businesses.
First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today announced that it has been granted a patent for technology to activate multiple prepaid cards at the point of sale. U.S. Patent No. 7,822,640, titled “Multi-card Bulk Package Identifying Activation Systems and Methods,” covers technology that allows merchants to activate all of the cards within a multipack at once rather than having to individually scan or key in each number, saving time at the point of sale.
Read the full press release: http://www.firstdata.com/en_us/about-first-data/media/press-releases/03_07_11