Wex Inc., partnering with CashStar, now allows its retailers in Australia and New Zealand to offer customized eGift cards.

This move is part of an ongoing strategy on the Wex's part to diversify its offerings and its audience. It also feeds a growing trend of offering eGift cards through mobile devices. 

“The primary benefits of offering eGifts are ease of delivery and the opportunity for customization,” says Michael Misasi, an analyst at Mercator Advisory Group.

Since eGifts are often sent via email or a mobile device, a retailer can deliver them at any time of day and allow users to customize each one.

“eGifts have similar benefits in the business-to-business market where they are often used to provide rewards and incentives to employees and business partners,” Misasi says. “The opportunity for personalization allows businesses to reward specific behavior with custom messages attached to the gift.”

In Australia, Wex already works with large retailers to provide gift cards and other prepaid products for business-to-consumer transactions.

“Wex entered that market in 2010 when they acquired assets from Retail Decisions, which at the time had a 60% market share in prepaid card processing,” Misasi says.

“Retailer adoption for eGifts is still spotty, but it makes sense for Wex to offer the service to reinforce their position as a leading prepaid card processor in Australia,” he says.

The move to offer eGifts shows Wex – once solely focused on the fleet market – is furthering strategy to diversify, which CEO Michael Dubyak spoke about during the company’s third quarter earnings report. 

"As we look at our business, we know we’re seeing an economy that’s sluggish, but we continue to diversifying products and we keep diversifying internationally and that’s an opportunity for growth,” Dubyak said during an Oct. 31 conference call to discuss earnings.

Wex Inc. is a relatively new moniker for Wright Express Corp., which rebranded to speak to its diversification into other markets outside the freight industry. 

Wex's diversification can "leverage the processing capabilities they developed to serve the fleet market to deliver a broader range of corporate payment solutions, Misasi says.

Diversification is on the mind of CashStar as well. Because of Wex’ success in the physical, digital and virtual corporate card market, the gifting and incentives company hopes to expand into other markets easily, it said in a Nov. 28 press release.

Through the partnership with CashStar, Wex has access to content management, a fraud management system and personalization features. Plus CashStar’s eGifting system integrates with Apple’s Passbook app, allowing customers to get alerts when they’re near retail stores where they can redeem the eGifts.

“Mobile has managed to make its way to the forefront of many companies’ payments strategy even though solution providers and consumers have yet to rally around a single technology for mobile payments,” Misasi says. “Integration with Passbook is significant because it gives their program access to the mobile channel for gift giving and redemption, and also potentially allows for location-based offers and marketing.”

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