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Gifts should feel like gifts.

Gift Cards: chillin' in your junk drawer since '94

Giving and receiving gifts are some of my favorite things to do, especially with the holidays right around the corner. I love seeing people’s faces light up when you find a gift that makes them feel special and appreciated. It makes the hunt for that perfect gift worth it!

That’s why you won’t ever see me giving gift cards to anyone. While convenient and easy, gift cards can appear unthoughtful. Not only do they feel like an afterthought, they can make the recipient look lazy upon redemption. 

Imagine you’re on a date at a swanky, upscale restaurant and it’s the perfect first date so far – then the time comes to pay and they whip out a gift card to cover the cost. Do you think the date is going as well as it was previously? Do you feel like they just went out with you to spend a gift card that was probably days away from expiring?

It’s not anyone’s fault. Gift cards just have a certain connotation to them that screams, I don’t actually care that much. Gift cards don’t discriminate: you can look unthoughtful and cheap, whether you’re the giver or the one who redeems them. 

So, why have we been conditioned to graciously accept these things that, on average, we never even end up using? When did gift cards become so ingrained in our society that employers think we want them as compensation or incentives for the work we did? 

Well, gift cards really rose to prominence in a time where they were, in fact, innovative. Hard to believe now, honestly. Gift cards were the answer to a world that wasn’t digital. If you really think about it, gift cards are nothing but a cash replacement in a digital world. At the beginning of the gift card’s inception, they were really revolutionary. You didn’t have to write a check for someone or get cash out and hand over a plain envelope. It appeared more thoughtful in the beginning. It appeared more convenient in the beginning. That’s only because the world, at that point in time, was barely scraping at the foundations of becoming digital. The world has moved on and it shows. 

In 2018 alone $1 billion on gift cards went unspent. That’s just in one year!

Don’t believe me? Go check your junk drawer. Gift cards have been around for over a decade… that’s a lot of money we’ve wasted on gift cards. So, not only can they appear as unthoughtful gifts that make everyone involved look bad, they’re also, ultimately, a waste of money. It’s so easy to just throw cash at a gift card for your employees, but chances are you just wasted your money trying to do a nice thing. 

Let’s stop doing that. It’s time we find a superior alternative to the gift card and all the pesky intricacies that come with it. Just ask yourself, or the people around you – cash or gift card? No brainer right? So why not just securely give them cash digitally? Let them pick their poison! 

As an employer, wouldn’t it be easier and more cost-effective to just send cash through an app to your employees from the comfort of, well, anywhere! No more worrying that you’re wasting your business’ funds to try and do something nice for your employees. Did you know that more than half of restaurant gift cards bought by employers go unused? That’s money that could have gone straight to the employee and made them feel more appreciated.

It’s truly amazing that a business wants to reward its employees but there hasn’t been a feasible way to do it digitally and seamlessly – until now. That’s how Solid Number thinks it should be. Digital, cash, on-demand.

Gift cards can appear to be presumptuous; they assume you have the time to redeem them, they assume they will cover the full cost of what you want and they assume you will use them before they expire. Cash doesn’t assume and cash doesn’t expire. It’s almost 2020 and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to work with assumptions or expiring gift cards anymore.