The virtual gift card provider Giftango Corp. said eight incentive and loyalty companies have signed with it to date.

The companies handle reward programs for credit card issuers and other organizations.

Giftango's system allows consumers who redeem their rewards for gift cards to receive an e-mailed virtual card instead of waiting for a mailed card or gift certificate to arrive.

"The option to instantly receive a gift card via e-mail has proven to be a popular selection," Alex Richman, the director of global services at one of the clients, Madison Performance Group, said in a press release Wednesday.

Giftango, of Portland, Ore., said its software is designed to work as a true replacement for the issuance of physical gift cards in that its e-mailed virtual cards are accepted in the same way by retailers.

David Nelsen, Giftango's chief executive, said in the press release that this approach can "help reduce the costs associated with traditional gift cards as well as integrate with existing retail systems."

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