Gift card disruptor Karta partners with Visa

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Gift card disruptor Karta partners with Visa.

Karta, an Australian-based FinTech backed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has announced a multi-year agreement to benefit from the Visa network. Karta claims to be the first-ever non-bank private label issuer in the US to process transactions on VisaNet.

This historic moment is expected to bring innovation to merchants and consumers alike via VisaNet.

The relationship with Visa marks an incredible milestone for Karta. Karta has developed a mobile-first solution that lets shoppers scan, select and buy Gift Cards in seconds from any participating retailer digitally and physically. Every business that accepts VISA can gain an instant and robust revenue channel. Karta is API based, core-independent and highly scalable.

"We are at the tip of the iceberg for Gift Cards, a perennial and increasingly favorite consumer shopping channel. Visa's network with Karta's innovative technology, can allow Karta to advance the consumer gift card experience by leaps and bounds. It's a boon for VISA merchants who will be able to issue Gift Cards that consumers like and can instantly use, are digitally secure, and also deliver a treasure trove of insightful shopping preference data. A win-win for all stakeholders," said Liza Gillooly, Global Director of FinTech BD Visa.

“VisaNet is the global network at the heart of Visa, connecting more than 80M merchants in 200+ countries. In partnership with Karta, we can leverage this infrastructure to create new and innovative solutions that can change how the world gifts,” said Laura Long, Senior Director, Network Applications at Visa.

According to a February 2023 Forrester Research report, while gift cards have been around for decades, many retailers don't use them to their full potential. When gift cards and stored-value solutions are core to a retailer's or brand's digital strategy, they improve cash flow, encourage new and repeat purchases, and drive customer loyalty, said the report. Notably, 65% of gift card holders spend an extra 38% beyond the card's face volume, according to the National Retail Federation Gift Card Spending Survey. 

"Karta and Visa are ushering in a historic new era in gift cards. It's pretty simple. Existing solutions can be slow, require integrations and can be structurally expensive. For consumers, gift cards are typically pieces of plastic or paper vouchers that are easily lost. Purchase them online or in-store and use them just like a debit or credit card. Visa and Karta will deliver a game-changer for consumers and businesses alike," said Karta co-founder Clare Kinsey.

"This historic deal is almost two years in the making, and we couldn't be more appreciative and thankful to every person at Visa who has helped to make this possible - this is the perfect example of incumbents and disruptors leaning in together and innovating.' said Karta co-founder David Anderson.

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