Marks and Spencer PLC, a London-based retailer, announced this week it has begun offering gift cards using software from Postilion, a division of the S1 Corp. based in Norcross, Ga. Marks and Spencer has 643 stores in the United Kingdom and 258 stores worldwide, the company says. Marks and Spencer tested the gift cards in its stores in Ireland last year and began offering them in all of its UK stores in November, according to the company. Postilion has supplied payments-processing software to Marks and Spencer for five years, Mark McMurtrie, marketing director for Postilion's international division, tells CardLine. Postilion software enables the retailer to run card programs in-house, so it can develop campaigns and promotions when it wants and spread the costs over its entire card portfolio, McMurtrie says. If Marks and Spencer contracted with an outside provider to handle cards, the costs would go up as the number of cards increased, he says. "The advantage for Marks and Spencer is they could treat gift cards as just another card and manage it in-house without having to increase their supplier base," McMurtrie says. Marks and Spencer declined to comment.