Choosing what to gift someone is generally not an easy decision to make. Even if you know the likes and preferences of the person you are gifting, there are chances that he may not find it useful or he may already have it. Though it is not socially acceptable, gifting money seems to be the best option possible in some of the situations. And that’s what BitGifting tries to do – gift money in a manner that is acceptable and convenient to the recipient.
BitGifting is a group gifting platform wherein you can gift money to your friends and relatives in the form of a prepaid card and also invite others to join in and contribute towards it. You can integrate your Facebook account with it; however it is not mandatory. The prepaid cards are provided by Visa and can be generated either in the physical or virtual form and can only be redeemed at any outlet or payment gateway accepting Visa cards. The lower and upper limits of contributions are Rs. 101 and Rs. 2501 respectively.
How Does It Work?
To get started you can either login with your Facebook account or register by filling up the form. Even if you choose the latter you can still integrate your Facebook account later on. When you login with your Facebook account you are taken to your dashboard which looks like as under:
The idea of gifting is divided into three categories – 1) Gifting for Facebook friends 2) Gifting for a custom event and 3) Gifting for festivals.
1) Gifting for Facebook friends – You can either click on the ‘Gifting for Facebook Birthdays’ button or choose the friend who you want to send the gift to from the auto-generated list given on the left hand side of the page. Once you select the friend you need to choose the amount you want to gift on the given scale. The next step is an optional one which involves providing your friend’s email address and writing a short message. When that is done you are required to make the payment for the gift amount. The last step which is what the platform is all about involves inviting friends to contribute towards the gift.
2) Gifting for a custom event – For an occasion that is not listed on the app you can start by clicking on the ‘Create a Custom Event’ button. Enter the event and recipient details, select the amount you want to gift along with writing a short message and making payment and inviting the friends.
3) Gifting for festivals – The app provides a comprehensive list of festivals and special days on the right hand side of the dashboard. Once you choose the festival you want to create a gift for by either clicking on the ‘Gift for a festival’ button or from the list, it presents you with the entire list of your Facebook friends. You send gift cards to more than one Facebook friend. Select the amount for each friend and enter other details. Make the payment and invite others to contribute if you wish.
If you are a friend invited to contribute to a gift, you can start by selecting the gift from the ‘Gifts in Progress’ section which will take you to the event page. Click on ‘Add to this Gift’, select the amount, add a message, make the payment and invite your friends if you like.
Friends who receive gift cards can generate and activate them in an easy manner by clicking on the ‘card’ shaped button given on the topmost bar, selecting what type of card they want, physical or virtual, and finally entering the required details. The cards are valid for 12 months after the date of activation.
BitGifting on Social Media
It has presence on four platforms viz. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. It has a decent fan base on Facebook (more than 3000 fans at the time of writing) with the ‘talking about this’ figure hovering around 2000 since the last few days I have been following the page. The content on its page is a treat. All the visual content is in the traditional comics format with Bollywood being the central theme. The content mix involves questions, testimonials and tidbits about the service in the visual form which are topped with humour. Amongst the number of tabs the only one worth its salt is the ‘How It Works’ one which explains the procedures of gifting under various categories exceedingly well.
The app works smoothly and has a clean interface with a beautiful yellow background consisting of gift box designs. The ‘How It Works’ section at the top and FAQs cover everything in detail, thus, not leaving anything to imagination. The app gives the option of using it without integrating the Facebook account which is a boon for people who are generally skeptic about linking their Facebook accounts elsewhere on the web. The idea of activating the prepaid card in the virtual form is a good one, as that is a quicker option and an ideal one for people who are in the habit of buying stuff online.
The concept of BitGifting is a new one. People usually struggle to decide what to gift someone. It gets even more difficult when you don’t know about tastes and likings of the recipient or he/she lives in a distant city. In such situations BitGifting can come in handy. However, the idea of crowdsourcing gift amount seems a bit odd to me. Whether it will catch on or not remains to be seen.
BitGifting is earning revenues by charging convenience fees to senders. On the other hand, the banking partner charges card issuance fees to recipients. Apparently, the convenience fees of Rs. 25, Rs. 50 and Rs. 75 are charged according to different slabs. The card issuance fees are Rs. 25 for virtual cards and Rs. 100 for physical ones. There is no clear mention of convenience fees anywhere in the Terms & Conditions or FAQs. Play around with the gift amounts and you get to know about them.
Overall, the concept is in the early stage and looks promising, however, only time will tell whether it catches on with people.