With the Openbucks gift card payment network, shoppers can now use their retail gift cards as cash online for gaming and other purchases. Numerous retailers, including CVS, Subway, Sports Authority, CircleK, Citgo, Hess and more have become Openbucks card issuers recently. At presstime, Openbucks cards were for sale in more than 50,000 retail locations in the U.S. and Canada, according to the company.
“Our vision is to enable anybody to pay for something in the digital world,” noted Marc Rochman, CEO of Openbucks. “It is easy, safe, private and costs shoppers nothing. There are no forms and users are not required to share their addresses or other personal information. Thousands and thousands of people are currently using it. ”
Initially, Openbucks promoted the service to consumers without credit cards looking to participate in gaming online. For example, they could use cash to purchase a Subway gift card and use it to buy sandwiches then go online and use the card to participate in games. The program has created significant incremental sales for Subway to date. According to Rochman, consumers who purchase an Openbucks card at Subway will use approximately 18% of the investment for Subway purchases.
The program has found its way to a variety of different types of retailers, including quick-service food, service stations, sporting goods, grocery and pharmacy retailers. “For merchants it’s a great way to reach out and receive incremental sales,” noted Rochman.
In addition to buying gaming, shoppers with Openbucks cards can complete purchases online through a number of different partner merchants. “Gaming was initially the low-hanging fruit, but now we are moving to music sites, subscriptions and real goods.”