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The Power of Digital Gift Cards for Driving Sustainable Initiatives

Posted on 25 January 2024
Read time 3 mins
Author Sophia 🌱

In today's world, where environmental concerns are gaining more attention than ever, sustainability has become a top priority for businesses and individuals alike, and one way to encourage sustainable consumption is by using digital gift cards as behavioral incentives.

Digital gift cards offer a convenient and flexible way for consumers to shop and are a powerful tool that can help businesses increase participation and engagement in their eco-friendly initiatives. 

The rise of digital - why many are saying goodbye to plastic gift cards and looking to sustainable alternatives

The rise of digital technology has transformed the way we live, work, and shop. As a result, many B2B businesses are reconsidering their traditional plastic gift card programs in favor of digital gift cards.

Here are some reasons why we think it’s time to say goodbye to plastic gift cards and hello to more sustainable, plastic-free alternatives. 

🌎 To help the environment

Plastic gift cards are, more often than not, single-use items that end up in landfills. By switching to digital gift cards, businesses can reduce their environmental impact and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. 


tons worth of plastic gift cards are dumped into landfills each year. And manufacturing one plastic gift card equates to 21g of carbon being produced.

While biodegradable gift card alternatives are available, they can be more costly to produce and still take many years to fully decompose. 

450 years

The time it takes a plastic gift card to break down into microplastics


🛍️ For consumer convenience

With so much spending happening online, digital gift cards are now often easier to purchase, store, and redeem than physical ones. They can be purchased online or in-app and sent instantly to the recipient via email or even a text message, reducing loss in the mail and ensuring a smooth and seamless process from purchase to redemption.

$639.90 billion

Predicted value of the digital gift card market by 2026

Not only is the digital distribution of gift cards easier for gift card sellers, but the digital gift cards themselves are also more convenient for the recipient using them, opening up a host of new use cases for businesses beyond conventional gifting. 

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🔐 For increased security

Physical gift cards are easy to lose and can also be easily stolen because the codes of physical gift cards are visible before activation. Thieves are known to steal these codes, monitor their activity status online, and then use the balance before innocent customers ever get a chance to use their balance. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers reported


cases of gift card fraud in 2022 totaling more than $228 million in losses.

Digital gift cards, on the other hand, can be protected by passwords or encryption, and digital codes can also be easily deactivated or replaced by the issuer if lost or stolen. Gift card platforms like Tillo also have additional security measures in place to prevent gift card fraud, ensuring that only the intended recipient receives the funds they have been allocated. 

😍 For greater personalization

With physical gift cards, personalization is often limited, but with digital gift cards the sky is the limit! Digital gift cards can be easily personalized with custom messages, images, and videos, making them more meaningful and memorable for the recipient.

But the personalization options don’t stop there. While you can buy multi-store physical gift cards, these only provide the user with the option to redeem their card at a fixed catalog of brands. With Tillo's digital ChoiceLink, the issuer can take this a step further, customizing the available catalog of brands to suit their recipient, ensuring that they not only get a gift card that reflects them personally but also gives them the power to choose where they spend it.


🚀 For access to data-driven analytics

Data is a powerful tool and while physical gift cards offer some data to the retailer and gift card issuer, this is often limited.  

“Creative use of big data​ can lead to substantial benefits, including better customer acquisition and retention, improved campaign focus, and targeting, as well as a better understanding of potential risks along the way.” - Forbes

Digital gift cards, however, can provide businesses with a much more detailed set of data, which can then be utilized in machine learning to provide personalized offers and incentives to customers, improve customer experience, and informing marketing decisions.


Driving Sustainable Initiatives with Digital Gift Cards

It’s no secret that gift cards are a powerful tool that can be used to drive acquisition, engagement, and loyalty. For businesses looking to increase participation and engagement in sustainability-focused programs or initiatives, digital gift cards make the perfect eco-friendly incentive or reward. 

At Tillo, we make it easy for businesses to balance acquisition and loyalty by helping them connect to the fastest-growing digital gift card network, featuring more than 2000+ brands that consumers love. 

To find out more, contact us today, and let us show you the potential of digital gift cards for your business. 


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