Currently, consumers desiring to purchase such cards must either
visit a merchant location that sells its own card,
visit a supermarket or other mass merchandiser that has a J-Hook display of many cards and execute the purchase and activation at the check-out counter, or
go online to order a card to be sent in the mail.
All three methods are time consuming to the consumer as well as time consuming and costly to merchants.
This paper identifies an emerging strategy that holds particular promise for the ability of ATMs to dispense gift cards – particularly in-store gift cards – in addition to cash. Having gift card dispensing at the ATM (in addition to cash) creates an additional income model for the existing (and often underutilized) ATM infrastructure, thereby creating an economically viable distribution solution that is cost effective and simple to implement.