Victoria, BC’s Kiind is announcing the launch of a new digital gift card solution for retailers and e-commerce merchants called Merchant Service today.
Kiind CEO and Founder Leif Baradoy will be making the announcement on the WSGR Startup Stage this morning at the LAUNCH festival in San Francisco.
Merchant Service was created by Kiind in response to retailers and brands who want their own digital pay-on-use gift card programs without the headache of creating them from scratch. This group can now offer fully branded digital gift cards on their own websites thanks to Kiind.
Merchant Service solves the challenges and tax issues associated with accounting for outstanding gift card balances, and keeps retailers in compliance as North American consumer protection laws evolve.
“We have retail brands across North America lining up for this. They are tired of the headaches of doing their own cards and the hassle of accounting for breakage with prepaid cards,” said Kiind co-founder and CEO Leif Baradoy. (Breakage refers to amounts that go unredeemed from pre-paid gift cards. Often thought to be a cash bonanza for retailers but an actual industry-wide accounting headache.) “It’s a natural extension of our digital pay-on-use solution to provide a retailer solution with Merchant Service.”
The concept of pay-on-use gift cards—pioneered by Kiind—has changed gift cards forever. Kiind made it possible to send a digital gift card where the giver isn’t charged until the recipient redeems it.
This concept gained immediate traction with consumers and major US brands when Kiind launched in 2013 with Amazon.com. There are currently hundreds of North American vendors on Kiind including Nike, Home Depot, and Sephora. The launch of Merchant Service expands Kiind’s service line without replacing its existing digital gift card marketplace.
“Our new Merchant Service makes life easy for retailers and brands and is the next step in our quest to pick a fight with prepaid retail gift cards,” said Baradoy. “They’re a waste of plastic, packaging and money when they don’t get used. Retailers know it and so do consumers. One day we’ll look back and plastic cards will be an extinct collector’s item. Launching our simple-to-incorporate Merchant Service for retailers is a step in that direction.”
Located in Victoria, Canada, Kiind was founded in 2012 by Leif Baradoy and Peter Locke. The company recently launched an API that makes it possible to use Kiind within other tools and Service and has a patent pending on its proprietary technology.