PRLog - Feb. 21, 2012 - EAST OF KAILASH, India -- The First Workshop for Gift Cards & Prepaid cards was held in Mumbai at the ITC Grand Central, Parel on 14th February, 2012. Sponsored by Qwikcilver, Zaggle-The Prepaid Ocean and Paycommerce and supported by Voices of Prepaid India, this half-day workshop aimed to help retailers understand why they should have gift cards and how their gift card programmes can be used to obtain tangible business benefits.
Voices of Prepaid India
The attendees included large retail players including Tata Trent, Shoppers Stop, Future Group, Café Coffee day and Planet Retail.
‘Gift Cards can represent 10% of a retailer’s turnover. So we are helping to bring gift cards to consumers in India,’ says the CEO of Global Prepaid Exchange, Tony Craddock. ‘I was impressed by the hunger of the retailers to embrace the potential for gift cards,’ Craddock said. He shared his experience of gift cards in global markets, where millions of retail outlets promote gift cards.
The audience heard from Alastair Bellwood, the Gift Card Manager from the world’s leading gift card retailer, Debenhams. Bellwood said, ‘There is still a big educational job still to be done by retailers and the industry bodies before we see mass adoption of prepaid cards in India. But there is every sign for optimism for sustained growth in the coming year. The types of questions asked of me by Retailers and the conversations I have had in India since arriving, would suggest there is a real thirst for knowledge and understanding in this industry, which all bodes well for the future.’
The retailer workshop concluded with two panel sessions. The first involved sponsors and Voices of Prepaid India Members. The second involved Indian retailers. The message from both sessions was clear; all stakeholders are heavily invested in growing and developing the industry. James Mirfin, Vice President & General Manager, Global Payment Options (India), American Express and Chairman of Voices of Prepaid India commented, ‘There is no doubt that the gift voucher, gift card and stored-value solutions market in India has the potential to be big business. If you look at more developed markets, gift cards are a part of everyday life with all the major shopping malls having extensive gift card offerings. We are still at a nascent stage here in India, but with a collaborative approach across the industry there is every expectation that the Indian market will be very significant in the future. I was very encouraged by the dialogue between participants at our Retail Workshop and have high expectations for developments in the coming year’
Kumar Sudarsan Managing Director, QwikCilver Solutions, said: “Gift and prepaid cards are being increasingly preferred and offered by retailers in India and other vertical markets and commercial applications are beginning to take off. Consumer acceptance has grown significantly too. There is every sign for optimism for sustained growth over the coming years.’
Avinash Godkhindi, CEO, Zaggle, commented ‘We need to work with the industry and retailers to get gift cards out in the marketplace and into the consumer’s hands. Once a consumer has experienced a card, they will definitely buy more. Consumers also tend to spend more than just the value on the card, and this makes the product even more attractive to a retailer.’
Sameer Jain, CEO, Paycommerce, observed ‘engaging workshops such as these are exactly what those in the Indian gift and prepaid community need to expand the prepaid market in the years ahead. We can use forums such as these to educate stakeholders on the potential of prepaid and innovate in a market with terrific potential for growth.’
Commenting from a retailers perspective, Ameet Rege, Head-Institutional Sales, Tata Trent, said ‘to run a successful gift card programme, the retailer must buy-in to what a programme can do for their customers and their business. Challenges such as staff training, infrastructure, consumer education and visibility can be overcome if senior management buy into the concept and invest in it.’
Ajay Kumar, Regional Director-Asia Pacific, Global Prepaid Exchange commented, ‘’this was an excellent interaction session with premium retailers where they shared their thoughts and experiences for Gift card implementation in retail stores. I am glad to see a good turnout and active involvement of retailers in workshop and hoping that this will create a common voice to lead the revolution of gift cards in India.”
The host of the workshop, Voices of Prepaid India aims to encourage the prepaid stakeholders in India to create a voice for the community and a forum from which collaboration, innovation and problem-solving is facilitated. Furthermore, members of VOPI will receive specific member benefits under three work-streams, each with its own objectives and defined deliverables, which are synergistic and reinforcing:
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Global Prepaid Exchange is the widest reaching prepaid industry organisation in the world with a membership of over 80 companies that spans four continents. Members are involved in issuing, processing, manufacturing or distributing three out of four of the world’s prepaid programmes.
MasterCard, Visa, Sainsbury's, First Data, InComm, CPI Card Group, Subway, Ceridian SVS and American Express all use the Global Prepaid Exchange to access industry connections, obtain insight into the marketplace and promote dialogue between businesses with a shared commercial goal.
Voices of Prepaid India is a programme of activities funded by companies from across the prepaid industry’s value chain: (issuers (including banks and telcos), programme managers, transaction processors, distributors, merchant acquirers, merchants, agencies, settlement partners or networks, card manufacturers and the regulator). The programmes purpose is to stimulate demand for prepaid products and services in India by creating awareness, understanding and interest in prepaid as an attractive solution for businesses and government. Current founder members include American Express, Atos Worldline, FIS, Gift Cards India and Itz Cash with Qwikcilver and Zaggle involved as Associate Members.
Press enquiries and interview requests to:
Head of International Client Services
Global Prepaid Exchange
+44 (0)20 7928 0040
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Global Prepaid Exchange is playing a role of a catalyt in prepaid space and provides business support, business connection and business intelligence.