​ Digital gift card launched ahead of busy pre-Christmas season

Digital gift cardDigital gift card
Digital gift card
​The Sheffield City Centre Gift Card, managed by Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID), has received a ‘digital makeover’ in time for the crucial Christmas trading period.

To complement the physical card, Sheffield BID has introduced a digital version to lock more spend into the local area and support even more city centre businesses. The city centre gift card works in the same way to a store gift card, but can be redeemed at a wide range of retailers, restaurants, leisure and entertainment venues across the city centre.

Where the physical cards need to be loaded in advance of being handed to their intended recipient, digital gift cards can be sent instantly, making them the perfect last-minute gifting solution.

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Digital wallet payments in the UK made up around 10% of payments in 2022 and it is estimated that they will account for 21% by 2026. 61% of consumers now feel confident enough with digital wallet payments to leave their home with just their phone, with this figure rising to 77% of Generation Z (18-24).

The introduction of the digital gift card comes at a time where more people are thinking about their gifting habits and increasing numbers are looking to support their local areas, in particular local businesses.

According to latest research, ‘support for local’ is higher than ever with 98% keen to support local this Christmas and 87% saying supporting local businesses helps to keep them open.

The research was undertaken by Town & City Gift Cards, which provides the technology for the programme.

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Diane Jarvis, Head of Business Operations at Sheffield BID, said: “We’re really pleased to launch the digital version of our popular city centre gift card in time for Christmas 2023. It’s the perfect time to introduce this new product.

“We’re confident it will complement the existing physical card, meaning that even more city centre businesses will benefit.

“We want to see more people supporting local by choosing to buy the city centre gift card this year, whether that’s the traditional physical card, or this new digital card. Every card that is purchased is a statement of support for city centre businesses. And every penny that’s loaded onto one of our cards goes directly to supporting a business in the city centre or is ultimately reinvested in the wider city centre economy. It’s a genuine win-win for everyone, city centre businesses and visitors.’

Sheffield BID is keen to see more city centre businesses join the programme and accept the gift card as a means of payment.

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Diane added, “We expect this new digital card to be popular with a wider demographic of potential customers.”

The Sheffield City Centre Gift Card can be purchased via the Sheffield City Centre Gift Card website, www.sheffieldgiftcard.co.uk. Cards can be loaded with values between £10 and £500 and recipients have a minimum of 12 months to use the balance on their cards once they are activated. A full list of businesses accepting the Sheffield City Centre Gift Card can also be found on the website.

The Sheffield City Centre Gift Card was originally introduced in 2017 to drive local spend and encourage local shopping. There are currently around 85 city centre businesses including bars, shops, restaurants, theatres and cinemas that accept the gift card.