InComm, the prepaid and transaction services company, purchased Giftango Corp. to expand its e-commerce gift card services.

The deal comes at a time when many companies are getting more aggressive in offering digital gift cards. Pinkberry, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts all offer digital gift cards as part of their mobile apps, and Apple recently added the feature to its retail store's iPhone app.

“Our expertise in implementing successful digital gifting strategies is far-reaching,” says David Nelsen, Giftango CEO, in an email. “It is an honor to merge our energetic startup mentality and modern business approach to commerce with the solid foundation and innovative spirit of an established payments industry pioneer like InComm.”

Giftango was founded in 2005 to help merchants sell gift cards from their websites. More than 150 brands deliver digital gift cards to their customers through Giftango’s network, including more than 80 partners. Giftango, based in Portland, Ore., is now a wholly owned subsidiary of InComm.

“InComm has tremendous relationships with merchants globally,” says Michael Fletcher, chief marketing officer at Giftango, in a phone interview. InComm’s network of merchants paired well with Giftango’s digital content for its channel distribution partners, he says. 

Digital gift cards are finding an audience among more than just consumers. Wex Inc. also started providing its business customers with the ability to eGift last year. Moving to diversify its product set, the virtual gift cards also provided a way for companies to reward employees or business partners, Michael Dubyak, CEO of Wex said in a November interview.

For consumers, BillMyParents, a prepaid card provider, added digital gift cards last year. Bar Louie and HotelTonight recently added digital gift cards as well.

Through 2011 and 2012, the busiest day for selling digital gift cards was Dec. 24, says Fletcher, showing consumers' need for quick gifts at the last minute.

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