Tomorrow, during TechCrunch Disrupt, Openbucks (www.openbucks.com) will announce the launch the Gift Card Payment Network. For the first time ever, consumers can use gift cards from trusted retail brands, such as Subway, Circle K, CITGO, Hess and Sports Authority, as payment for online games and at ecommerce sites. Openbucks turns gift cards into a convenient online purchasing and payment method and is ideal for people who do not have a credit card or prefer not to use them when paying online.
Using an Openbucks-enabled gift card, consumers can complete a transaction in five seconds or less. After purchasing a gift card at one of more than 100,000 locations in the United States and Canada, consumers can use it in hundreds of online games, including Aeria Games, Artix Entertainment, Bigpoint and World Golf Tour, and e-tailers, which together have over 300 million monthly active users.
For instance, if you want to buy in-game credits for Bigpoint’s hit Battlestar Galactica Online or new golf gear in World Golf Tour without a credit card, just enter the card number and pin on the back of your Subway gift card and the transaction is complete.
Using Openbucks is easy whether you are a consumer, an online merchant or a retail gift card issuer. Consumers do not have to worry about going over budget, getting a bill at the end of the month or hassling with filling out complicated payment forms at the end of the check out process. Online merchants can add the Openbucks payment option to their shopping cart in a few simple steps through an application programming interface (API).
It takes little effort for retail gift card issuers to integrate with Openbucks as the company has relationships with the main processing companies, including Ceridian Stored Value Solutions and Fifth Third Bank. Initial retailers participating in the Openbucks Gift Card Payment Network include Subway, Circle K, CITGO, Hess and Sports Authority, which collectively have more than 41,000 stores and are distributed at more than 60,000 additional points of sales, which means more than 97 percent of consumers can grab a gift card from an Openbucks retail partner within minutes.
Retailers can leverage their existing gift card programs by making their gift cards a preferred and recurring way to pay online for consumers, driving foot traffic from online to offline (O2O). Retailers receive free online exposure at checkout where consumers are focused and engaged, keeping their brands top of mind, and earn a profit from sales captured in the shopping cart of third party merchants via an embedded mini digital store, a proprietary technology for which Openbucks has several pending patents.