Home / Companies / Gift cards provider Qwikcilver targets smartphone users to grow its base

Bengaluru: Gift cards provider Qwikcilver, which helps offline brands and department stores to offer prepaid gift cards, is looking to grow it user base in India by targeting consumers who transact using mobile phones.

The company is targeting a GMV (gross merchandise value) of 6,500 crore in 2017, up from 2,500 crore in 2016, TP Pratap, co-founder of Qwikcilver, said in an interview.

GMV refers to value of goods or services sold on the platform. It differs from revenue, which indicates income earned from the sale of goods.

Qwikcilver expects to expand its GMV by expanding into new industry categories and newer brands. The company is targeting newer segments such as music streaming, automotive car care, healthcare, grocery, personal care, matrimonial, jewellery, and furniture in the next three years. In total, Qwikcilver has more than 25 industry categories in India.

Its biggest presence is in the hospitality sector which generates average spending of up to 9,750. The average load value on Qwikcilver gift cards is at around 2,126. Apart from hospitality industry, sectors like department stores, mono-brand fashion, travel sector also generate the most spending, Pratad said.

Qwikcilver partners with large retail brands and department stores to help them launch their own branded portfolio of gift cards. Offline brands utilize these gift cards as an added marketing and promotional channel. The company has tie ups with 150 offline and online brands in India, and each brand uses Qwiksilver’s software for issuing gift cards.

To help expand its transaction base, Qwikcilver tied up with mobile payment provider Samsung Pay on Monday, enabling it to tap Samsung smartphone users who have signed for the payment service. Gift cards issued by the company are redeemed at Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and Qwikcilver’s partnership with Samsung Pay is a strategy to add more payment touch points.

Samsung Pay users complete their transactions using NFC (near field communication) or MST (magnetic secure transmission). Users tap their smartphone on the PoS terminals to complete a transaction. This brings down the time taken to complete a transaction, which would usually take more time using a debit card.

For Qwikcilver, the faster contactless payment method is an added advantage, since users need not carry physical gift cards every time they need to redeem their prepaid balance. Samsung Pay app will also have a new gift card store, featuring 20 branded stores associated with Qwikcilver. Users will be able to browse through different stores on the app and send and receive pre-paid gift cards online.

India’s online gifting segment which is mostly populated by e-gift cards and vouchers is till at a nascent stage, but Pratap, co-founder of Qwikcilver is betting big on the industry. Speaking with Mint, Pratap said that the segment which Qwikcilver operates in—gift cards—makes up just 2% of the overall gifting industry in India. But the gift cards segment itself generates a 5X yearly growth in the country, Pratap said. Comparing to the US market, gift cards accounts for 30% of the overall gifting segment, he added.

The use case of branded gift cards is not just limited to sending and receiving prepaid cards; corporate entities use gift cards and vouchers to pass on benefits to their employees. “Gift cards are also a customer engagement platform for big offline brands and department stores that usually do not have an online presence," Pratap sid.

“This means that offline brands like Shopperstop, Croma, and others can issue their own gift cards to users, and fundamentally the gift card becomes the currency of the brand. These brands can then design gifting schemes for a particular product category, or during festival season as per their strategy. We only work alongside these brands to provide a technology platform and let them decide how the gifting program runs," Pratap added.

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