InStore, an iPad-based mobile point of sale provider, has launched Gift Card Merchant, a free app for Apple devices that allows merchants to design physical gift cards to be printed.

Within the app, merchants can create a gift card design by using a starter template or uploading a photo or logo to put on the front of the card. After the merchant specifies the number of gift cards desired, Instore sends the gift cards as a PDF in an email.

Merchants can then print out the gift cards on card stock paper, add value through the mobile app and start selling them to consumers. When a customer buys a gift card, the merchant scans a unique QR code printed on the front of the card and inputs the value and the customer information. The cashier scans the card again when the shopper uses it for a purcahase.

InStore maintains the gift card program for the merchants, keeping track of balances and reporting.  

Gift cards are a valuable product for merchants since more than 70% of consumers spend more than the gift card value, says Matt Niehaus, CEO of InStore, in a Nov. 21 blog post.

"Gift cards are a great way to reduce overall transaction costs, specifically credit card fees," Niehaus says. 

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