July 3, 2001, 12:00 AM

Gaylan`s sporting goods chain is testing new electronic gift cards

Merchants can track Premier Issue card activity online.

 

Gaylan’s, a national sporting goods chain headquartered in Indiana, is piloting a new gift card just issued by Midwest Payment services, the data processing subsidiary or Chicago’s Fifth Third Bank. The Premier Issue Gift Card offers merchant retailers an electronic payment alternative to paper-based gift certificates. The gift cards electronically store dollar amounts and can be used at the point of sale similar to a debit or credit card. The cards are purchased by consumers in-store, but participating merchants can track card activity on a dedicated web site that displays gift card balances. The merchants also have access to a tollfree interactive voice response unit to track card activity. The card, notes Brian Mauntel, vice president of payment services at Midwest, provides merchants with the ability to increase revenues, reduce the risk of fraud and lower administrative costs, while providing a platform for incremental advertising and promotional opportunities. “Premier Issue is a value-added e-commerce service that represents significant business opportunities for our new and existing clients,” he says.

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