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EGifter implements Bitcoin to overcome security breaches, widen public interest

Social gifting brand eGifter claims to be the first iOS application to offer bitcoins as a payment option.

Believing that the bitcoin system is a more secure platform, executives at eGifter hope to see more users adopt and continue to follow the currency. Offering egift cards from a multitude of sources, eGifter now accepts bitcoin payments to overcome previous struggles with security efficiency and fraud through mobile payments.

“Bitcoin gives our users yet another payment option, which drives more usage of the app,” said Tyler Roye, CEO and founder of eGifter, New York. “Since we offer eGift cards from so many different merchants, we give bitcoin users many additional places to spend their bitcoins.”

“Offering bitcoin helps connect us to a whole new group of consumers who appreciate the service we provide,” he said.

Creating a passageway
Despite the news of this implementation, the app does not alert users of the new option to pay using bitcoins. When users click on the app, they are prompted to view gift suggestions and featured giftcards, but there is not a tutorial or information provided to explain the new use of bitcoins.

To utilize the new bitcoin option, users go through the traditional process of selecting a gift card and are then prompted to choose a payment option. Users can select either a credit or debit card or bitcoins and an exchange rate of currency is provided if bitcoins are the selected choice of payment.

EGifter allows users to incorporate mobile with social through virtual gift giving with the further goal to alleviate fraud within mobile spending. The app is available for free on the App Store.

Bitcoin enthusiasts
Bitcoin has seen an increase in popularity as more brands and retailers begin to accept the digital currency.

Lord & Taylor and its Canadian counterpart Hudson’s Bay Company began accepting bitcoin payments through the mobile application Pounce, enabling customers to purchase directly from a print ad.

The two retailers were among the first to accept bitcoin, following and Tiger Direct. Consumers can download the Pounce app first and add their Coinbase bitcoin wallet account to purchase products using the digital currency (see story).

Also, business listings on Yelp now indicate if a merchant accepts the digital currency as a payment method.

The reviews site and mobile application added the new attribute to its business listings as another way to make them more useful for consumers and businesses. The move was Yelp’s latest attempt at differentiating itself in the increasingly competitive location-based services space (see story).

While eGifter’s integration of bitcoin is not a new trend, the retailer’s tactic makes shopping easier for consumers.

“Through bitcoin, we offer a secure, fraud free payment,” Mr. Roye said. “We believe that bitcoin is a window into the future that offers choice and security in payments.

“Online, card-not-present merchants take the full fraud risk when we accept credit cards and PayPal. With bitcoin, there is not chance for a chargeback so we are protected from fraud,” he said.

“We hope that there are a lot more bitcoin users in the future, as well as other emerging payment options that offer a low cost, fraud-free solutions for online merchants.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York