Gyft, a company that provides mobile wallets for gift cards, announced that it has entered a partnership with BitPay Inc. to accept the virtual currency Bitcoin for the purchase of closed-loop gift cards.
From Gyft’s press release:
Customers are now able to buy mobile gift cards using bitcoins and redeem them at over 50,000 physical retail locations across the USA including GAP, Lowes, Sephora, GameStop, American Eagle, Sports Authority, Nike, Marriott, Burger King, Fandango, Brookstone, and many more household brands.
Gyft accepts Bitcoin for the gift card purchases as it would any other method of payment. It works with BitPay to convert the Bitcoins into dollars. Bitpay charges an exchange rate fee of .99% for transactions that it converts from Bitcoins to other currencies.
The merchant never sees the Bitcoins because Gyft is acting as the reseller of the card. It pays the merchant in U.S. dollars for the card. The company declined to say whether it was immediately converting all of its Bitcoin payments to U.S. dollars, but a company representative did say that it was interested in supporting alternative payments.
Gyft’s acceptance gives Bitcoin users much more flexibility because they can convert their Bitcoin to closed loop cards and in effect increase the number of places where they can spend their virtual currency. Closed-loop payments become a bridge from the virtual currency to the mainstream retailers.
The other advantage to Bitcoin is that there are no chargebacks, because the currency is exchanged as virtual cash.
Click here to read more from Gyft’s press release.