Amazon.com Inc. added a new payments system called the Amazon Birthday Gift, which allows users to send Amazon.com gift cards with birthday messages to friends on Facebook and allow other friends to contribute more to the card's balance.

"Birthdays have always been social occasions, and sites like Facebook now make it possible for anyone around the world to send birthday wishes to friends¬ówith Amazon Birthday Gift, those many individual messages can become a big gift," says Steve Shure, Amazon vice president of traffic, in a June 18 press release.

Once one friend starts the gift, any of the recipient's friends can add more money to the gift card, even if they're not friends with the initial sender. Amazon Birthday Gift cards can be purchased in values of $1, $5, $10 or $25, and the gift doesn't appear on the recipient's page until their birthday. 

Amazon's online greeting card and e-gifting feature is similar to that of SpendSmart Payments Co., formerly BillMyParents. The company offers a greeting card that could be sent to family and friends and continually loaded with funds. Bohemian Wrappsody AB 's Wrapp works the same way.

The e-gifting space is getting crowded, as companies take advantage of the small but growing trend in mobile gifting. Pinkberry, Skype and Wex have added e-gifting functions recently. Facebook has its own proprietary social e-gifting service that Amazon's product looks to compete with.  

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