We're still in the 20th century when it comes to gift certificates. We have paper certificates that are filled out by hand at the time of issue. We do keep electronic files that match the value of the certificate with its number and have the ability to redeem them online, but we're still miles behind what others are doing.
Several competitors offer gift certificates that look like branded credit cards. I'm not talking about the ones with the Visa logo, these are the ones that just have our brand on the front and can have any value assigned to them.
As mentioned by another member in a recent thread, receiving these gift card have a feeling of holding cash in your hand. My perception is that they seem to have more value than a paper gift certificate of the same dollar amount. Furthermore, they can be used by marketing in promotions, sales reps. as a thank you for an order, or even customer service as a form of a refund or credit.
I'm doing some research and have found a couple of sources (not nearly as many as I was expecting to find), but am not really sure what to expect. Does anyone have any experience with these? Are there questions I should be asking from vendors, or any potential problems that I should be aware of?