Chase Paymentech Announces Gift Card Study Results

DALLAS – November 6, 2008 – Chase Paymentech, a leader in the merchant acquiring and payment processing industry, recently announced the results of a two-week survey the company commissioned to provide insight into consumers’ attitudes towards gift cards. The study, which polled 850 American adults, found that gift card awareness and usage remains very high, with nine in ten respondents having ever received or purchased a gift card. Additionally, two-thirds of respondents have bought at least one gift card within the past 12 months.


Just as impressive, the data also shows that most adults (55 percent) plan to buy the same number of cards as they did last year, and 21 percent plan to buy more. Similar estimates show shoppers plan to load either the same amount (55 percent) or more (21 percent) money on those cards. All things considered, the study suggests retailers with gift cards to be well positioned during what is anticipated to be a slow holiday season.


“Gift cards are an interesting opportunity for retailers,” said George Wilcox, General Manager, Gift Card Group, Chase Paymentech. “What our research indicates is that gift cards may prove to be a bright point in a retail season that’s going to face its own share of challenges.”


Additional results provided by this study include:



  • Typically, consumers spent more than the amount of the gift card when they are redeemed, with 85 percent adding an average of $17.70 out of their own wallets.

  • Gift card buyers who purchased a gift card within the past 12 months bought 4.7 cards for others, in addition to two cards for themselves. This may indicate that gift cards are being used as potential budgeting tools.

  • 82 percent of users said that a discount for the purchaser’s use when buying the gift card would make them somewhat or much more likely to purchase gift cards. Free specialized gift packaging for cards is a strong purchase motivator as well (61 percent).

“One of the more compelling aspects of this study,” said Wilcox, “is that gift card buyers plan well ahead of time to purchase a gift card.”


Retailers need to answer this enthusiasm with visible and accommodating gift card displays.


More than one-third of past year gift card purchasers (37 percent) have entered a store intending to buy a gift card and left without buying it because:



  • They couldn’t find the gift card display (21 percent)

  • They didn’t care for any of the designs (21 percent)

  • They changed their mind and decided on another item (20 percent)

  • The cards were locked behind the counter (15 percent)

Retailers who are aware of gift card popularity, and make gift card purchases easy for consumers, are more likely to capture those sales.


“During a down holiday season, where each sale is increasingly important, gift card purchases will be crucial,” said Wilcox.


About Chase Paymentech
Chase Paymentech, a business unit of JPMorgan Chase, is a global leader in payment processing and merchant acquiring, capable of authorizing transactions in over 130 currencies. The company’s proprietary platforms provide access to a wide variety of payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, prepaid stored value cards and electronic check processing. With a legacy of innovation and vision in electronic payments, Chase Paymentech promoted the growth of e-commerce worldwide. The company continues to fuel the success of the Internet’s largest brands, currently processing more than 50 percent of all Internet transactions. Offering secure payment solutions, improving cash-flow management, mitigating risk and accelerating funding – Chase Paymentech’s consultative approach helps today’s small and emerging businesses become tomorrow’s industry leaders. On the Internet or at the point of sale, Chase Paymentech’s unique combination of outstanding service, innovative solutions and financial strength offers solid benefits to companies both large and small. More information can be found at www.chasepaymentech.com.