While gift cards are certainly a useful and practical gift, the act of giving a gift certificate to a store can be construed as impersonal. One startup is trying to change this. Tango Card, which offers a gift card program for consumers, is launching a new personalized experience, called ‘What I Got.’
For background, here’s how Tango Card works. A purchaser can buy a Tango Card, and give this to a recipient via email. The recipient can then exchanges the value for the card for one or multiple retailer gift cards (Amazon, iTunes, Target, Starbucks, others) or they can donate any portion of their gift card to one of 9 non-profits (National Park Foundation, World of Children, Habitat for Humanity, etc.). Any unused value can actually be redeemed for cash. Basically, it provides a more flexible gift card option which allows recipients to choose and then stagger the proceeds of a gift card across various retailers or charities.
The Tango Card’s value can be used on the startup’s site or directly via its iOS and Android apps. The startup also offers physical Tango Cards for those that prefer a plastic product.
With ‘What I Got’ (WIG), recipients can take a photo of what they bought with their gift card, and then share it directly with the person that gave it to them via the Tango Card iOS and Android apps.
Tango Card users start WIG on the app, attach or take a picture of what they got, and select how to share the photo, via Facebook, Twitter, or a Picasa or Flickr album. The gift giver is notified by email and can instantly view how the gift card was used. The startup says that this is a more personalized way to close the loop with the gift giver.
As founder David Leeds tells me, in November and December, U.S. consumers will receive about $30 billion in gift cards. Tango Card’s WIG offers a way to close the loop with the gift givers, and personalize the experience.