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How Virtual Gift Cards Could Help Hotels, Restaurants

Bristol-based gift card business Gift Up! is providing a lifeline to thousands of firms which have been forced to stop trading following government lockdowns around the world.

The online platform is offering its innovative service free of charge in an initiative that will enable companies worldwide to continue to bring in revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tech concept, which allows businesses to create virtual gift cards for their products to be sold via any company website, in any native currency, is fully automated and operates in every country across the globe.

With the outbreak of coronavirus leaving business owners across the world with stunted revenue streams due to cancellations and closures, the Gift Up! model provides an optimum alternative method of generating income.

When a gift card is purchased via Gift Up!, merchants are credited with the money immediately, rather than having to wait until the product or service is redeemed by the recipient, providing financial support to relieve the cashflow crisis faced by firms worldwide.

This comes during a boom in gift card sales during recent weeks as consumers look to take advantage of deals and offers to be redeemed once closures are lifted.

Whilst Gift Up! usually takes a cut of each gift card sold, founders Lee Tracey and Alex Allen are offering up to $5000 in gift card revenue free of any fees whatsoever, to any business in any country, as a goodwill gesture during this period of global pandemic.

The software-building duo, who started the company in 2017 and now handle gift card sales for over 15,000 customers internationally, have partnered with Eventbrite and Stripe and count amongst their clients the likes of BrewDog and Nordic Choice Hotels as well as thousands of smaller local-based businesses all over the world.

The average Gift Up! business customer generates $10,000 annually in revenue, with its largest client reaping in $1m a year through its sales of online gift cards.

Commenting on the initiative, Gift Up! co-founder Lee Tracey, said: “We’ve found ourselves in an incredibly unique position amid the COVID-19 crisis to make a huge difference to the lives of business owners across the world through our platform. For the first time in our lifetime, we’ve crafted some software that can genuinely play a part in affecting the success or failure of companies that have nowhere else to turn right now, and that’s an amazing thing to be able to do.”

To find out more about the Gift Up! COVID-19 initiative, visit

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