Application and startup Gyft is simplifying the process of giving, receiving, and redeeming gift cards.
Gyft allows users of its application to store gift cards electronically, saving them trouble and hassle of having to carry them around. Instead, users can input the card numbers and PIN from the physical gift card into the Gyft app, and have it stored there for use at participating retailers. In some cases it’s as simple as taking a photo of the gift cards in hand.
In addition to acting as a free digital wallet for iOS and Android user’s personal gift cards, the application also allows users to send and receive gift cards through text, email, or Facebook.
Facebook integration is important since the social network already provides users a unified place to check birthdays, special occasions, and anniversaries of friends and relatives. By including these sending abilities, Gyft instantly takes away the only real inconvenience of giving someone a gift card: having to go to a store to pick one up.
Users of Gyft can also regift any card they have to other users.
Though we couldn’t’ find a complete list of retailers the company has partnered with, supported retailers include Target, Amazon, Walmart and Fandango.
Apple’s Passbook application already delivers part of this experience today. With it, users can store their gift cards, plain tickets, and movie tickets. However, retailers have to have an application available in the iTunes App Store to make use of the application.
Passbook is also Apple-centric. Users who have other devices that aren’t powered by Apple’s iOS can’t take that experience with them. With Gyft, users can let the service manage their gift cards on both iOS and Android.
There are also applications that provide a Passbook-like experience for Android users like KeyRing. Unfortunately KeyRing only provides services for loyalty cards. Google Wallet also provides a similar service, however it focuses on debit and credit card payments.
Last year GottaBeMobile took an in-depth look at other applications on Android that can help users get a Passbook-like experience on Android.
Gyft is not currently available on Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10.