Fashion retail chain Zara has taken delivery of 18,000 reloadable contactless keychains that shoppers can choose instead of the retailer’s existing single-use plastic cards when buying a prepaid card as a gift.
“Gift cards provide a vital connection between retailer and customer, and like any payment method, is always in need of innovation,” CEO of supplier MultiPay Global Solutions David Maisey says.
“The scale of the gift card market should not be underestimated. Last year alone 28.8 million adults in the UK received a gift card. Importantly, they are especially popular with Gen Z and millennial shoppers, with 46% and 42%, respectively, purchasing at least one gift card in the three years leading up to 2022.
“The arrival of a reusable NFC-powered keychain not only enhances the customer experience by making it easier to carry but also helps reduce single-use plastic consumption.”
Finding ways to reduce the use of the first-use PVC used in the majority of the world’s 25bn plastic cards is fast becoming a hot topic in the payments industry.
Last week, Mastercard and HSBC began piloting a card recycling system that the payments network hopes will become a blueprint for the global card industry, while Linxens VP Thomas Decker recently reported for NFCW’s Contactless World Congress on sustainable alternatives to today’s predominantly first-use PVC cards, including recycled PVC (rPVC), recycled PETG (rPETG), ocean plastic, biodegradable PLA plastic and wood.
Celent analyst Zil Bareisis also highlighted sustainability as a key focus area for payment card issuers in his recent presentation for Contactless World Congress on what’s next in contactless payments.