The pandemic could tick up giftcard purchasing, though it remains to be seen how that will impact spending. Amid widespread store and restaurant closures in the spring, businesses urged customers to purchase giftcards as a short-term solution to the cash crunch, and payments providers responded by boosting giftcard issuance.
Spending on Father’s Day gifts is expected to reach a record high $16.0 billion, according to a May 2019 report by the National Retail Federation (NRF). But that doesn’t mean fathers should expect to receive anything too glamorous—greeting cards are still the most popular type of gift that consumers plan to purchase.
Buy now, pay later solutions are quickly gaining adoption as consumers look for new financing options and merchants aim to drive sales. But the industry is still unsettled as a number of firms are battling to lead the space, while card networks and issuers are looking to get involved too.
For instance, insurer Aetna launched an Apple Watch-based program in 2019 granting rewards to certain members for engaging in healthy behaviors—like exercising and scheduling preventative screenings—that go toward earning giftcards or an Apple Watch.
In the March blog post, it pledged $7 million to promote its Stars feature, which allows live video viewers to tip virtual hosts, and said it will introduce virtual giftcards. The company is also expanding paid live events to 24 more countries and fan subscriptions to 10 more countries.