Hallmark Teams With Venmo to Streamline Cash Gifting

Hallmark-Venmo gift card

Hallmark and Venmo say they want to make lost birthday checks a thing of the past.

The greeting card company and the PayPal-owned money transfer service announced Wednesday (Aug. 30) they are collaborating to introduce Hallmark + Venmo cards.

“Our new collaboration with Venmo represents an innovative new way to let someone know you’re thinking of them with simple, secure and seamless cash gifting,” Hallmark Senior Vice President of Global Product Development and Innovation Darren Abbott said in a news release. “Gifting trends are constantly evolving, and we want to stay at the forefront of what consumers need to share thoughtful and unique gifts with the ones they love.”

According to the release, the partnership lets consumers send money with Venmo with a physical card, eliminating concerns about lost cash or checks. The companies note that 78% of Venmo users routinely use the service to send money as a gift to family and friends.

Customers can choose a card for occasions like birthdays and weddings, scan a QR code inside, select the amount they want to give, and write a personalized message. When the recipient gets the card, they scan the QR code to access their funds.

“Plus, only a gift giver’s intended recipient will be able to access the money sent in a Hallmark + Venmo Card by scanning the QR code [upon] receipt and adding it to their Venmo account,” the news release said.

The partnership is happening at a time when QR codes are coming into their own, John (JP) Park, senior product manager of go to market strategy at Bank of America Merchant Services, told PYMNTS in an interview published Thursday.

“QR codes have also been around for a while,” said Park — since the 1990s — “but these days as we go to restaurants, you really notice the rise” in QR code use.

The software-driven point of sale is “becoming just a new way of accepting payments” as tap-to-pay becomes more common in day-to-day life, Park said.

“Your phone has been turned into a contactless payment terminal without having any additional hardware or peripherals,” he said. “So, whether you want to accept a payment with a physical NFC-enabled card, a digital wallet, or even a wearable such as an Apple Watch or a Fitbit … all of this increases the ways [of paying].”

Park said there is an opportunity, then, for the banks to cater to consumers enthusiastic about FI-backed digital wallets. Earlier this year, a group of banks including Bank of America announced the launch of Paze, a new digital wallet run by Early Warning Services.

“From a digital wallet perspective, consumers are looking for a solution that’s seamless and secure,” Park said. “They want that convenience combined with trust.”