Tuesday, 04 September 2018 12:42

PayPal opens Digital Gift Store as 140 tons of plastic gift cards wasted in Australia each year


PayPal has launched a "digital solution to plastic gift cards", not only saving a stacks of plastic, but presumably creating a nice little earner for itself, too.

While over half of Australians (58%) have received a plastic single-use gift card in the past year, PayPal's newest research has revealed that "most of them (57%) would have preferred a digital alternative, as it is better for the environment".

To take advantage of this trend, PayPal is oh-so-conveniently launching the PayPal Digital Gift Store, allowing "digitally-savvy (and environmentally conscious) Australians to service all their gift-card needs in one easy, digital shopfront".

So, how do Australians really feel about 140 wasted tons of plastic gift cards, according to Paypal?

PayPal helpfully gives us a stack of stats:

  • More than a third (34%) of Australians have purchased a plastic gift card because there wasn’t an equivalent digital option available.
  • Sixty-three percent of Australians would prefer to receive a digital gift card over a plastic gift card because it is more convenient.
  • Australians waste up to 140 tonnes of plastic on gift cards each year.
  • Almost half (47%) of Australians would prefer to receive a digital gift card over a plastic gift card because they would be less likely to lose it.
  • Over a quarter (27%) of Australians haven’t redeemed one or more plastic gift cards in the past year. Of these Aussies, 36% indicated this was because they forgot about it, the card expired (32%), or because there was nothing in the store they wanted (28%).
  • Over a quarter (28%) of Australians haven’t redeemed a plastic gift card because there was nothing in the store they wanted.

What does PayPal's shopping expert have to say?

Emily Curlewis, PayPal Australia’s resident shopping expert, explains: “With gift cards being one of the most popular gifts given by Australians, they are an important part of our gift-giving culture, especially as we head towards the busy Christmas season.

"However, it is clear that Australians are becoming more environmentally conscious, and this is now translating to their shopping and gift-giving experiences.

"We are excited to launch the PayPal Digital Gift Store, not only because it is a super-easy and convenient way for Aussies to treat themselves and gift to others, but also because it has to potential to reduce our environmental footprint.”

“More and more, services are being digitised to create convenient and enjoyable customer experiences. PayPal has worked with our retail partners, some of the biggest in Australia, to transform one of the last physical elements of the shopping experience into a digital one.

"Over the last 15 years, PayPal has played a huge role in the development and facilitation of eCommerce and, mCommerce, so the launch of a digital gift cards store is a natural evolution for PayPal.

“It’s wonderful to see that mobile and ecommerce trends are also working to create a more sustainable future. The outmoding of plastic gift cards is just one small step of many towards achieving a future that embraces both technology and sustainability,” Curlewis concluded.

So, how does Paypal's digital gift store work?

The company says it is "partnering with some of Australia’s biggest retailers and providers including The Iconic, Uber, Catch Group, JB HiFi, eBay, Rebel Sport, Netflix, Woolworths and more", and that "the new digital storefront will enable consumers to seamlessly and securely purchase, store and send personalised gift cards online or from their mobiles".

How to take advantage of the savings

To celebrate the launch of the PayPal Digital Gift Store, PayPal says it "is offering discounts of up to 15% from select merchants during the first week of launch commencing September 4, helping consumers feel even better about going digital".

PayPal Digital Storefront Promotions this week:

  • Tuesday 4 September – Receive 15% off at Catch dot com dot au.
  • Wednesday 5 September – Save 15% on your new weekend outfit from The Iconic.
  • Thursday 6 September – Get 10% off rides with UBER.
  • Friday 7 September – Grab a 10% off bargain at Rebel Sport.

You can visit PayPal’s new Digital Gift Storefront here for more information, or to take advantage of the great deals. We're told that the PayPal Digital Gifts Storefront is also available through eBay.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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