Google Pay partners with Qwikcilver to offer digital gift cards

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The market leader in UPI transactions, Google Pay India, has partnered with Pine Labs-owned Qwikcilver, to offer digital gift cards to its users. The company seeks to issue real-time virtual gift cards from over 150 online and offline brands across 1500 cities in the country. Woohoo, the consumer arm of Qwikcilver will be listed on in-app store Spot in Google Pay. The companies are planning to create exclusive offers and campaigns for users while lending a hand to brick and mortar retailers to revive demand as they are severely affected by the pandemic.

A top executive at Qwikcilver said that discussions for new products are still ongoing, but Google Pay and Woohoo might consider introducing gifting solutions for the kirana economy and local small and medium enterprises to boost offline demand. Kirana and SME space is largely untouched by gift cards. Qwikcilver currently makes a billion transactions on an annualized basis through its gift cards. It has a strong client base with 700 companies and 1 million consumers as clients.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the trend around gifting cards had shifted largely towards digital platforms, online merchants now receive about 75% of gift card transactions. Going with the trend, new segments are added to the online gifting space, which includes agritech, healthcare, and online diagnostics along with gaming and app-purchases. Compared to last year Woohoo saw a 150% rise in its daily transactions.

Kumar Sudarsan, CEO and founder of Qwikcilver, said when compared to the same period last year the gifting ecosystem of the country had witnessed a rise of about 90% in the issuance of new gift cards this fiscal year. This partnership will enable customers of Google Pay to buy digital gift cards in real-time from the platform across segments of apparel, hospitality, travel, and the entire offline retail distribution. This will allow the merchants to increase their sales incrementally. The media did not receive any response from the Google Pay spokesperson.

Sudarshan said that when purchasing through the instrument customers tend to buy higher than the gift voucher amount while purchasing goods, this will push sales for merchants. In the case of luxury, hospitality, and jewelry the average amount for gift vouchers can go up to Rs. 10,000, but the median value is still around Rs. 1,900.

With 42% of the average market share, Google Pay remains the market leader in UPI transactions, closely competing with the homegrown company, PhonePe. The UPI transaction touched an all-time high at 2 billion in volume in October, and the growth continued in November as well with 2.2 billion in volume.

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