The holiday season is synonymous with spending. Those of us with the best budgeting intentions can quickly get into the red as we gather the last-minute essentials and tiniest of stocking stuffers. It all adds up so quickly. This year, with the supply chain shortages and shipping delays, holiday shopping will have an added layer of stress. The solution? Prepaid and virtual gift cards provide a stress-free alternative to the traditional holiday shopping chaos and allow members to stay within their holiday spending plans.
According to the New York Times, the global supply chain shortages will “affect this year’s Christmas and holiday shopping season by making it much harder to find key goods.” (Goodman, 2021) The Times also suspects that these shortages will linger well into 2022 and beyond. Forbes indicates that consumers are already feeling the effects of the supply chain problems. The Morning Consult released a poll in which 50% of the respondents report they have begun shopping; of those consumers, 54% indicated an item they wanted to purchase was not in stock. (Saul, 2021). One thing is for certain, it is best to approach the holiday season with a sizeable portion of patience and consider alternate gift giving options, like gift cards.
Are all gift cards the same? Absolutely not, says Naomi Anderson, Envisant’s VP of Prepaid. “Gift cards are split into two categories, closed loop and open loop. We provide open-loop gift cards that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted to create more flexibility for the gift receiver.” Closed loop cards, like those sold at and affiliated with only one store, are less flexible. It is much easier to make a cranky teenager happy with an open-loop gift card because they can be used anywhere. Kids can hit the movie theater and even pick up their favorite coffee with one card.
Using a virtual gift card is another, simplified gift giving option this holiday season. Members can share a digital gift for their loved ones to use for online shopping. Virtual gift cards are perfect for out-of-state friends or family, teenagers, and young adults because they receive the gift digitally and can use it at any online retailer where Visa is accepted in the United States.
Gift cards are the trouble-free gift solution to make this year’s holiday bright. Members can stay within their spending plan, avoid the stress of supply chain shortages, and give a gift card that can be used wherever the recipient would like to shop! Questions about Envisant’s prepaid product line? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and let us help your credit union achieve your vision this holiday season.
At Envisant (formerly LSC), our mission is to help credit unions compete and to provide credit unions with a favorable operating environment and quality information, products and services, which have value, and which enable credit unions to exist, compete and prosper in the financial marketplace. Visit our website to learn more.
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