Eibhlis, John and Mitch (our Griffith University Intern) headed off to the WRC in Rome in September 2015 to research the appetite in the market for our Digital Gift Card offering, using an MMS as the delivery platform. It was a worthwhile trip on many levels – we met some of the key players in the retail world globally. And, thanks to a few frank and open chats with some very candid people, we came home convinced that a digital card was NOT on the agenda of large retailers, Blackhawk, Incomm and First Data have the strings – and everybody was happy with the status quo – and making money on the spoilage.
Everybody that is except the customers who lose the plastic card, or they expire before they are used, or Dick Smith customers who neglected to keep their receipts, and generous retailers would only refund when the purchase receipt could be produced. We still believe in the digital gift card, coupon and voucher. However, consumer habits need to change and demand will need to come from the consumer market. Otherwise too much money would have to be spent changing consumer behaviour.
It was a very worthwhile exposure to the retail market – we saw what a powerhouse the UK is in retail and how the Swiss and the Italians clearly were going to have a dramatic role over the next 10 years in shaping European retail.
Our MD, John also had the pleasure of taking a selfie with his hero, the father of the internet Sir Tim Berners Lee. As you can see John enjoyed it way more than Tim.