Magazine article American Banker

Attention Kmart Shoppers - Now, Gift Certificates on Stored-Value Cards

Magazine article American Banker

Attention Kmart Shoppers - Now, Gift Certificates on Stored-Value Cards

Article excerpt

Kmart shoppers can now purchase plastic gift certificates rather than paper ones.

The gift certificates are magnetic stripe cards, called Kmart cash cards, which also double as AT&T calling cards and can be reloaded when their values are depleted.

Kmart is working with Stored Value Systems Inc. to implement the program. That company is a subsidiary of National City Corp., Cleveland, and is based in Louisville, Ky., along with the parent's merchant processing company, National Processing Inc.

The cards, which went on sale last weekend at the 2,122 Kmart stores, are expected to boost sales and promotions while keeping more customer money in the store.

"Business has shifted to stored value from paper certificates," said Richard G. Barlow, president, Frequency Marketing Inc., Cincinnati. The Kmart cash card "simplifies transactions at the point of sale and conserves all of the value of the transaction" in Kmart's favor.

Typically, when a gift certificate is redeemed, "the cash difference goes to the consumer," he said.

Kmart customers who return items without receipts will be given cash cards rather than cash refunds to buy store merchandise. …

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