After surviving Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, do you still find yourself racking your brain trying to think of something for those hard-to-shop-for friends so you can finally complete your holiday gift-giving list? At LTP, we may have found the ultimate gift-giving solution that delivers the perfect gift for any type of recipient. Launched in August 2016, the Swych™ digital gifting platform modernizes, digitizes and simplifies gifting. Users can send swychable gift cards to friends and family all from the convenience of your mobile device. So, no matter which store’s gift you get, you can swych it for the store you want to shop at, for free!
As Deepak Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of Swych, emphasizes, “Our vision is to make digital the preferred method of gifting by leveraging modern technology and advanced security, all with the convenience that today’s consumer expects. People simply do not want to carry around 10 or 20 plastic gift cards in their purse or wallet. Nor do they want to be stuck with gift cards they received for merchants they have no current need for. Swych delivers a relevant gift for the recipient every time and peace of mind for the sender that their gift will not go unused.”
Reinventing the Gifting Experience
The Swych app makes gift giving as easy as sending a text message. Send gift cards directly from your phone so you’re never running to the store, or having to stop on your way to an event. You can choose from the huge selection of digital gift cards that Swych offers. They make it really easy to find the one you want, pay for it and send it to the recipient all within the app itself. With a simple text or email, your gifts are sent instantly to friends and family that include a personal note and/or picture.
Plus, with a built-in recommendation engine, Swych highlights brands in an easy-to-browse carousel that each friend or family member may prefer, making the choice from more than 100 brands easier.
Most important, all gift cards sent on the Swych platform are swychable. This means that gift cards you send can be changed by the recipient to adapt to his personal shopping need. So, whether your friends needs to buy a microwave at Lowes, or take his family to dinner at Applebee's or buy a new comforter for their newborn at Babies “R” Us, he can instantly Swych your gift to his exact need at that exact time.
The founders of Swych, Robert Sabella and Deepak Jain demonstrated the outstanding features of the Swych gifting platform at Finovate 2016 in Silicon Valley, including the cash bonuses recipients can receive when they swych cards and the freshly-unveiled artificial intelligence-enabled Swych GiftBot, which we will talk about further.
Using Your Swych Gift Card
Not only can you swych cards you receive in the app, but there are a few other things you can do. When you receive a Swych gift, you have a few options. If you know the store you want to use the gift at, you can instantly claim the gift for use in that store by using the Swych option. If you do that, the electronic gift card you chose appears in the “My Gift Cards” section of the app. If you don’t yet know where you plan to use it and want to decide later, you can do just that. Click the “Decide Later” option and the gift is saved in your app in the “My Swychable Cards” section of the app.
Once you have claimed a gift card, it is a breeze to spend it in-store. To do so, simply tap on the card in the app and a barcode appears that can be scanned for your purchase or provide the card number and PIN to the cashier and you’re done.
Love using Apple Wallet? With Swych, any card that is purchased, received, or uploaded to the app can also be added to your Apple Wallet for your convenience.
Another option is to regift your card to someone else. Sometimes what you need isn’t to go shopping, but a gift for someone else. When this happens simply open any card that you have in the “My Swychable Cards” section and tap “regift” in the options menu. Attach a personal message and/or image along with the card and you’re all set. Plus, no one will be the wiser.
For every dollar spent on gift cards for friends and family, you earn points that can be used toward your next purchase. Every dollar earns one point.
Swych also offers a refer-a-friend program (via email or text), allowing users to invite one another to receive bonuses. Upon referral, the user and the invited person each receive a $5 credit to their account.
Swych also has a unique affiliate program that is designed to benefit communities: the app can be linked to organizations such as schools, clubs or non-profits, where the organization earns funds when their followers gift from the app. Users need to simply select the affiliate program they want to support from the drop-down menu in the “Referral” tab.
After racking up reward points for gifts you’ve sent and referrals you’ve made, don’t forget to treat yourself. You can treat yourself to a nice round of golf, that massage, or maybe something nice for yourself. Use your points however you like, whenever you like. When you select “For Myself” on the Gift tab in Swych, you’re able to shop from Swych’s huge selection of gift cards, some with special discounts just for you! Checkout safely and securely with payment options such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Pay with Amazon, or apply funds available from your saved cards as well as any Reward Points earned.
Uploading your Gift Cards
Swych eliminates the need to carry around current plastic gift cards by allowing users to upload them into the app. The user only needs to tap the “+” icon on the middle right of the app in the ‘My Gift Cards’ section, search for the right retailer, take a picture of the back of the gift card making sure the barcode is visible and aligned and hit next, confirm the details of the card and save it. If the barcode cannot be read, the user can enter the gift card number and PIN with the amount.
The Swych Gift Bot
During Finovate 2016, Swych presented their AI-enabled GiftBot and won “Best of Show.” The Swych GiftBot platform, currently in beta testing, is designed to facilitate gifting using natural language on conversational platforms like Facebook, Skype, Amazon Alexa, iMessage, Hangouts and Siri.
We, at LTP, had a chance to view a beta preview of the GiftBot in action. The user simply calls up the Swych GiftBot in Facebook Messenger and asks it to send a gift. The user speaks or types the name of the recipient, the brand of the card, the dollar amount and can add a personal message. The Swych GiftBot sends the gift card and the recipient receives a notification that the gift is waiting for them. The perfect gift can be sent in less than 30 seconds.
You can see the preview of Swych GiftBot in action here:
The Road Ahead: Swych for Businesses
We, at LTP, asked the Swych Team to give us a sneak peek at what might be coming in the future. Swych for Business using Swych’s Gifting-as-a-Service API is one such exciting new capability to watch out for. This capability from Swych is being designed to allow financial institutions, loyalty platform providers and mobile banking companies to easily implement the most modern gifting experience and reward consumers through social media channels by sending an incentive that can be swyched or redeemed by the recipient to any brand of his or her choice.
Swych is looking to differentiate itself in this space by leveraging its unique and modern customer experience, GiftBot platform, advanced security and fraud protection mechanisms and its wide-reaching integration with brands and mobile wallet networks. All this will reduce cost and boost ROI for businesses utilizing gifting for their consumers or employees. The service enables transition for businesses from plastic gift card-based distribution programs to a very quick path to digital fulfillment and social platform integration.