U.S. Bank is trying to adapt to the pandemic holidays with new eCards meant to spread cheer through contactless cash gifting, according to a press release.
The eCards can be sent alongside payments made as gifts via Zelle in the bank’s mobile app. The eCards, made in collaboration with FinTech startup Vouchr, will have over 200 personalized designs for customers to choose from, including themes like “holiday, but also birthday, graduation, a simple thanks or congratulations,” among others. The release says the cards are “animated, dynamic and can include a message.”
The cards are free for U.S. Bank customers, according to the release, and will be easy to include with payments.
The point of the cards is to offer a contactless, safe way to spread holiday greetings during the pandemic, meant to avoid health concerns or going out to the post office or grocery store just to buy a card.
Zelle is used to complete fast transactions in which funds are typically made available within minutes in the recipient’s bank account.
Zelle transactions are up 64 percent since last year, with faster growth occurring during the pandemic as customers looked for digital ways to send money. Recently, Zelle surpassed one billion payments in 12 months. U.S. Bank’s work with Zelle, the release says, is “part of the company’s broader strategy to enhance the customer experience with digital capabilities that are intuitive and easy to use, fast and secure.”
Gift card sales are up this year, PYMNTS writes, with the pandemic’s push to online shopping driving the trend. The data, according to Todd Dipaola, CEO of consumer intelligence firm InMarket, shows how people have adapted to the new way of shopping during the pandemic.
“The data is clear: gift cards are booming for the holidays, and the net effect could be a boost for Q1 as they’re used in the new year,” he said, according to PYMNTS. “Gift cards are no longer a last-minute gift — they add optionality in uncertain times, showing the power of choice.”