Mastercard Launches UK’s First All-Digital Gift Card

Mastercard Launches UK’s First Digital Gift Card

Mastercard is partnering with CleverCards and Appreciate Group to offer gift cards directly to mobile wallets, Mastercard announced in a press release on Monday (Dec. 16).

The Select Digital Gift Card can be sent immediately by email, text or messaging app, and is available now as a last-minute Christmas present. Recipients can add the digital Mastercard to a mobile wallet for “tap-n-pay” capability, in-store or online. The gift card functions as a prepaid Mastercard once activated by a recipient.

“We want to offer consumers the option to pay how they want, when they want. We are delighted to have partnered with CleverCards and Appreciate Group to help revolutionize the gift card industry by making it as simple as paying by any other payment method,” said Scott Abrahams, senior vice president of business development at Mastercard.

This marks the first all-digital, mobile-enabled gift card in the U.K. It can be used at more than 6,400 outlets representing 61 retail brands, including John Lewis, Topshop and TK Maxx.

“We have effectively created a digital £50 note – one that can be instantly sent and spent between any parties electronically, across borders. The CleverCards-distributed digital Mastercard can be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said Kealan Lennon, founder and CEO of CleverCards.

“This is money reimagined for the new generation of consumers and providers, including safety, security and regulatory compliance,” Lennon added.

This is the first significant use of CleverCards. The platform will be expanded to include debit cards, expense cards, rewards and more.

“We’re proud to be the first company in the U.K. to bring this type of technology to market,” said Appreciate Group CEO Ian O’Doherty. “It’s a real game-changer in many ways, as it completely reimagines how gift cards should work in a mobile-enabled world.”

The digital card market was valued at approximately $31.8 billion in 2019. Their value lies in bringing in new customers, promoting loyalty among existing customers and creating additional revenues when customers exceed the value of their gift cards.