July 30, 2014, 2:54 PM

Payment processor First Data will buy a digital gift card firm

Gyft provides a mobile wallet for cards and works with 200 retailers.

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E-commerce payment processing vendor First Data Corp. announced today it will buy Gyft Inc., which provides mobile wallets for gift cards. First Data did not say how much it paid for the 2-year-old company, but says it expects the transaction to close in August pending approval from Gyft shareholders.

Gyft’s technology enables consumers to “buy, send, manage and redeem gifts cards using mobile devices,” First Data says. Gyft works with more than 200 retailers, including Internet Retailer Top 500 merchants Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1), Sears Holdings Corp. (No. 5) and Target Corp. (No. 18). Consumers can use the gift card service via Gyft’s site or through iPhone and Android apps.

First Data says it has 300 retail prepaid clients that now can access the Gyft distribution channel. The processor says that sales of U.S. digital gift cards increased 71% year over year in 2013.

“Gyft, with its mobile gifting platform, and First Data, with its global scale and distribution network, together will accelerate the growth of virtual prepaid with powerful new tools for merchants of all sizes to deepen their relationships with their customers,” says Guy Chiarello, the president of First Data. “This means that the same robust toolset deployed by big box retailers will be coming soon to small- to mid-sized businesses, perfectly synched with our mission to offer innovative solutions to help our clients grow.”

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