Victoria startup Kiind has today launched its cash-back payment model for gift cards, hoping to help ease the estimated $10 billion in unclaimed giftcard money every year.
The startup launched in 2012 and primarily targets businesses, where it’s technology allows them to offer giftcards to employees and customers. Business only pay once those gift cards have been claimed.
“Our service is built to respect the time, money, and effort associated with showing appreciation. Making sure givers only pay for gifts that people want is just the start. The desktop and mobile versions of Kiind make it easy and convenient to send gift campaigns on-the-go. We reduce the procurement and delivery time associated with giving a good gift and then let our users brand their gift emails,” reads the company’s website.
Today, Kiind announced the addition of cash-back accounts for gift card buyers.
The “newest evolution of the service” sees Kiind expanding beyond credit cards for payments. Now, Kiind enables users to fund gift orders via a re-loadable account balance, which can be paid for via bank transfer, cheque, purchase order, or credit card. Additional payments options are anticipated later in the year. Available account balances can be refunded to a buyer at anytime.
“Cash-back accounts mean that Kiind users get more flexibility and control when it comes to their gift incentive programs. This is critical for the businesses that use Kiind for customer engagement,” said CEO Leif Baradoy. “The payment space is evolving quickly. Customers rightly expect services like Kiind to provide them convenient options for payment, rather than narrowing their choice.”
The company claimed in a release that the concept of only paying for gift cards that recipients use “gained immediate traction” with buyers and major brands when Kiind launched. Used as a tool by businesses to incent and reward customer behaviour, a cash-back account allows Kiind users to send and track digital gift cards for hundreds of brands in North America, including Amazon.com Gift Cards, Amazon.ca Gift Certificates, iTunes Gift Cards for both USA and Canada, The GAP, Cineplex, Nike, Home Depot, Columbia Sportswear, JC Penny, and many more.
“Kiind has questioned many of assumptions in the established B2B gift card pricing model,” said Matt Davis, director of the Gift Card Network. “They have rethought how gift cards are bought, sold, and given, in a way that benefits buyers, recipients, and merchants.”
In May 2012 the company raised $30,000 from former Hootsuite cofounder Dario Meli, while in November it raised $165,000 from three angel investors.