Guide: How to redeem gift cards in an unsupported system

If you use some software not yet supported by us (we support quite a few shopping carts and some ticketing & booking systems already...), you can get started right away with accepting Gift Up! issued gift cards in your external software by deciding the best approach that suits your requirements and volumes.

Fully integrated approach (for sellers with developer resources available)

If you've got access to a developer and you have full control over the platform in question (i.e. you've built your own e-commerce platform / POS terminal etc...), then a custom integration using our Developer API is usually the way to go.

Guide: Using our API for a custom integration

Manual approach #1 (for larger sellers)

This is our recommended approach for larger volume gift card sellers as there is no work to do when you sell a gift card, all the work is upfront. 

  1. Generate lots of coupon codes for a particular value in your external platform (i.e. 100 coupon codes that issue a $100 discount when used)
  2. Create a "$100 Gift Card" item in Gift Up!
  3. Upload the 10 codes you generated in your store to the $100 Gift Card item
  4. Install our checkout on your website somewhere so your customers can buy your gift cards
  5. Whenever we sell a $100 Gift Card for you, we'll issue a code to the customer from that pool of 100 codes you just gave us. And because has already been created in your platform, it will work instantly. 
  6. You can repeat this technique for any gift card value

When that is done your customer can, in effect, use his/her gift card balance against an order in your external system instantly as it was provisioned ahead of time.

Manual approach #2 (for smaller sellers)

This approach is great for those among you who like nothing to do initially :) It's great if you're just getting started selling gift cards and are unsure of your volume. 

  1. Install our checkout on your website somewhere so your customers can buy your gift cards
  2. When you sell a gift card, the recipient gets an email with a unique 5 character code (you can change this format if required)...
  3. ... you will get an email notification (example below) that you've just sold a gift card
  4. Go to your external platform and add a discount coupon/promo code, and enter the amount from the gift card you just sold and (crucially) the code we issued for the gift card
  5. Mark the gift card as "Redeemed" in the Gift Up! dashboard (not required, but recommended) to say that you've "processed" that gift card, and you do not create another coupon in your external platform(!)

When that is done your customer can, in effect, use his/her gift card balance against an order in your external platform.

We usually recommend that you put something in your gift card terms that says "please allow 24/48 hours before gift card is active", or something to that effect. 

Common questions

What about custom value gift cards?

We recommend not turning on the ability for your customers to buy custom value gift cards for the simple reason that those gift cards typically cannot 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 a code in your platform and have it issued by Gift Up!, we'll have no way of knowing whether it has been used at all. 

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 external platform handles the codes that you've issued to us. 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, there are some systems that do have a (usually lack-lustre) gift card capability internally to the system and you are simply 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 external platform is the master for what the balance is.

What do the email notifications look like?

By default, you'll be notified about all gift card sales, here's an example of one (it's for a postal order, but for email gift cards, the only thing that gets removed is the address).

Notice how it contains the code we issued to the recipient and the initial credit value.

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