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December 14, 2017

Sell Virtual Gift Cards from your Website

Reservation Genie released a new virtual gift card tool for our clients today. We manage many of our clients websites and will add a snazzy promotion to your website for you. Other clients are welcome to add it themselves. The tool works with the help of industry leading online merchant Stripe. After you set up a Stripe account and link it to Reservation Genie, all it takes is adding a Gift Cards button to your homepage and pointing it at your personal gift card purchasing page in a process very similar to adding a reservations button.

About Stripe
We have been working with Stripe for awhile. They offer a really easy set up process for businesses and great tools for programmers to use for building features like this. The interface is exceptional. Plus they are super transparent and fair with their pricing at 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction and no monthly or hidden fees. You can learn more about Stripe and set up an account here. When you’re finished setting up an account, stay logged into Stripe and click on the blue Stripe Connect button on your Gift Card Configuration page to link your Reservation Genie account to Stripe. It will say connected when you’re done (see image below).

The Buyer Experience
The buyer goes through a smooth mobile friendly 3 step process.

  1. Step 1: Enter Personal Info Here they enter Buyer name and email so we can send them a receipt. They also enter the Receiver’s name, email, and mobile phone so we can send them the gift card by email and text message. There’s also a section to enter a personal message.
  2. Step 2: Confirm Price & Enter Credit Card Info This step outlines the $3 fee that Reservation Genie charges and adds it to the purchase amount as it requests credit card info. We love the way Stripe requests credit card details. It’s literally one field (see image below). Talk about easy!
  3. Step 3: Confirm Successful Transaction Step three lists final billing details, displays an order ID, and notifies the Buyer how the charge will show up on their credit card. We send all that info in an email that they can print and use as a receipt in case they’re expensing this to the company.

The Receiver Experience
While building this feature we tested some other solutions that required printing a summary. I nearly lost it twice organizing my desk. After a mere 5 weeks even the paper is a bit embarrassing. I wouldn’t want to carry that into a restaurant. The virtual card is much easier to manage. The buyer receives a text message with the personal message from the Buyer and link to open the virtual gift card on their phone. That shows the amount and instructs them to show it to the restaurant server or tour operator. The screen has a code that the server writes down and enters in on the Gift Card code page to get to the gift card details page. There you can validate and reduce the transaction by the amount spent. The Receiver will get a text message reminder for a few months mentioning the remaining transaction balance. It’s 10 times easier to use than a print out and we hope that encourages gift card receivers think about buying your gift card for their friends in the future.

The Restaurant Experience
Restaurants have a Gift Cards tool in Reservation Genie that they can use to view reports, check balances, verify virtual card codes, and reduce card balances. Reducing a gift card balance only takes a few clicks and works great from a phone.

  1. Step 1: Visit Gift Card Code Tab and Enter Code: While logged into Reservation Genie you simply visit Marketing > Gift Cards to open the Gift Card Code screen. Here you can enter the virtual gift card code to get to the card details. Codes are randomized 6 digit letters and numbers like those displayed below.
  2. Step 2: Reduce Card Balance When you get to the gift card details screen you can see some information about purchase date, buyer info and transaction history. It’s shows the remaining balance and any transactions. You simply enter the amount to reduce and hit submit.
  3. Step 3: View Reports: At any point you can click on your Gift Card Report tab to see all your cards sold. The report includes a link to each gift card summary as well as a link to transaction on Stripe where you can verify more info. Redeemed gift cards are displayed in green and there’s a tab to filter teh view for just redeemed cards.

As usual, we’re happy to help you get this set up and added to your website. If you have questions or want to discuss and details, just get in touch.


Ivan Collins
Reservation Genie

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