CardCash, an American online company that buys and sells discounted gift cards from thousands of national retailers, has begun to accept bitcoin payments. CardCash joins companies like Gyft and Fold that provide ways for Bitcoin users to interact with the massive gift card industry.
“We saw that bitcoin was getting a lot of traction and growing in legitimacy,” CardCash CEO Elliot Bohm said in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, “but it was slow in getting acceptance in popular brands.” He pointed out that while consumers could use bitcoin to shop at Overstock and Dell, they couldn’t spend their bitcoin at Macy’s, for example.
“We can easily be the bridge,” said Bohm. “People can use bitcoin and save money at the same time.”
In September, CardCash expects to roll out its mobile app that will allow people with a bitcoin wallet to buy gift cards online instantly. “You’ll be able to walk into Wal-Mart, go shopping, go on the app while you’re in line, and buy a gift card right there on your phone,” said Bohm. “When you get to the checkout, you just show them the barcode.”
In a press statement, Steven Weldler, VP of Online Marketing for CardCash, said, “CardCash.com is always looking to bring our service to as many people as possible, especially to the unbanked and people who can use help financially.”
Bohm noted that the Bitcoin community is very savvy when it comes to saving money and is always mindful of conversion rates. Since CardCash customers can get a discount of between 5 and 20 percent on their purchases, he said that connecting CardCash and bitcoiners made a lot of sense.
“We’ve been looking into bitcoin for a long time now,” said Bohm, “but we wanted to do it properly.” CardCash has stringent AML-compliance polices and fraud-prevention measures. Every card is verified and comes with a 45-day balance guarantee. Seller identities are authenticated, and a $10,000 per day purchase limit is in place to prevent money laundering. The company uses BitPay to process their bitcoin transactions and immediately converts to fiat; they also wanted to be sure that their banking partners were comfortable with them allowing bitcoin transactions.
So far, CardCash serves only U.S-.based customers, buying and selling gift cards that can be redeemed in the United States. But there are plans currently in the works, thanks to bitcoin, that will allow international customers to tap into the discounted gift-card scene.
Founded in 2008, CardCash has been included in the Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies for the last three years, as well as in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America for the past four years.
Christie Harkin is the contributions editor at Bitcoin Magazine.