Redeeming gift cards via your POS (point of sale) terminal
The POS software landscape is extremely fragmented and generally closed; there are thousands of POS systems available and it is impossible to work with most as they simply do not allow third-party developers, like us, to interact with their system, which is a real shame.
Directly supported POS platforms
We currently work directly with Square POS, Shopify POS and Vend. If you use either of these, please read our separate guide to understand how to redeem gift cards inside your POS terminal.
We are happy to consider working with any POS vendor, so please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are either POS vendor or a customer of ours who wants us to integrate with their terminal. If we get enough interest and it is technically possible to integrate Gift Up! to the POS system, we will consider it.
How to accept Gift Up! gift cards in all other POS terminals
The key to our universal approach is that your POS terminal needs to have the functionality to create discount codes, or better yet, have a basic gift card functionality built-in. This is sometimes called a Stored-Value mechanism. If you can't create either a discount code or a gift card in your POS terminal, then there is no way to accept Gift Up! gift cards in your terminal and you will have to use our web/mobile app to accept gift cards in person.
Manual approach for larger sellers (recommended)
This approach is our recommended route for larger gift card sellers or sellers who are happy to do a little work upfront
- Create a batch of random codes with a specific value (say $100) in your POS terminal (we can help you with the random code generation if required)
- Upload the codes to the (say) $100 gift card item in Gift Up!
- Whenever we sell a gift card for $100, we will issue a code from that pool of uploaded codes, plus we'll only issue a code once.
We also support a range of numbers, if your terminal can handle that.
i.e. you provide us with a number range like this:
Get in touch if this is required as we do not support this in our dashboard yet.
Alternative manual approach
This approach is our recommended approach for lower volume sellers. Basically you let Gift Up! generate a random code (either a default format or a custom format) whenever a sale is made:
- A gift card is sold
- Gift Up! generates a random 5 character gift card code (or alternative format if configured) and issues that to your customer
- We email you and your other Gift Up! account admins
- You load that gift card as a discount code/gift card in your POS with the code & value we generated.
It's a good idea to let customers know that their gift cards will be 'activated' within 24-48 hours after the sale.
Develop an integration between Gift Up! and your POS
If you have access to a development team you may be able to integrate your POS with Gift Up! using our Rest API (included in all our plans).
Alternative to using your POS terminal
Of course, whilst convenient, using your POS may not be the right path for you yet. So do bear in mind that we offer a fully-featured mobile & web app that allows you to validate and redeem gift cards in-person instead of using your POS terminal.
What about custom value gift cards?
If you are using the recommended approach above (whereby you pre-create a batch of codes ahead of time), then we recommend turning off the ability for your customers to buy custom value gift cards. The simple reason is that those gift cards typically do not have codes allocated against them in advance.
How do my customers check their balance?
Our advice is to ask them to check with you directly and disable the automatic balance checker in your checkout settings. This is because as soon as you create the code in your POS terminal and have it issued by Gift Up!, we'll have no way of knowing whether it has been used at all. The master record for what balance is on a gift card is held within your POS terminal.
Can my customers use the gift card multiple times (if they have enough balance)?
That's a great, and important, question. And the answer is really down to how your POS terminal handles the codes that we've sold for you.
The likelihood is that they act as one-time-use discount codes, meaning that once used, they cannot be used again (unless you manually re-enable it, or provision a new code for the remaining balance).
But, having said that, some POS systems (like Aloha) do have a gift card capability internally and you are just using Gift Up! to sell these gift card codes online. In that world, your customers will most certainly be able to deplete their gift card balance over time, but of course, your POS terminal is the master for what the balance is.
What barcode format is printed on the gift cards?
By default, it's a PDF417 (a 2D type), but you can choose from a variety of formats including Code128, Code39, QR, etc... that you'll be able to scan using your regular scanners in-store.