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How does a gift card API actually work?

How does a gift card API actually work?

An overview of gift card APIs

For companies and organizations that are distributing gift cards at scale and need them to be sent out automatically, using a gift card API is the best way to place orders and have them delivered to recipients.

There are some direct retailers that offer gift card APIs, such as Amazon, but if you’re looking to distribute gift cards to multiple brands, your best option is to partner with a gift card management company that has a more dynamic gift card API, like Runa (wink, wink) …

Using Runa’s API, you’ll get access to the world’s largest catalog of gift cards - that’s over 1,300 brands and counting. Once you’re connected to the Runa API, you can seamlessly send out gift cards across the globe while enjoying the benefits of our best-in-class partnerships with major retailers.

To learn more about how the Runa API actually works, sign up for a demo - we’ll be happy to give you the scoop.


What is an API?

Before diving into our own gift card API, let’s quickly review what APIs are more broadly.

The acronym API, or application programming interface, is defined as “a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other” according to MuleSoft. As data analysis and digital programming become more and more essential to businesses, companies are storing data more frequently through third-party management systems. The downside with this is that it can be difficult to access the data you need.

Through APIs, businesses are able to connect multiple data sources automatically using code. Companies can use APIs to organize data and streamline processes that would otherwise take tons of time and money. Making data available to third parties also lets developers build apps, like these shown in Spotify’s app showcase.


How to use the Runa gift card API

Runa customers rave about our API for its enhanced reporting, advanced ordering tools, and customizable delivery experiences.

How Runa’s gift card API works

The Runa API opens the door to the industry’s largest collection of digital gift cards. All the data involved in processing eGift cards, from payments to delivery, are managed by a single system. The intuitiveness of the Runa API makes it easy to set up, even if you’re not a veteran software engineer.

Why use Runa over another gift card API?

Finding the right gift card provider takes careful consideration. What brand relationships does the provider have? Are there hidden fees? How long will the onboarding process take? Is there any risk involved? Will it be possible to measure ROI?

Runa offers flexibility, speed, efficiency, and user-friendly integration. With direct relationships with over 1,000 retailers, Runa allows you to choose the gift cards that most appeal to your recipients.

Runa’s automated gift card distribution process means that you can send digital gift cards in seconds. The data available through Runa’s API lets you track what kind of gifts your recipients are buying, empowering you to make better business decisions.

Want to see what all the hype is about? Get a demo of Runa today.

Steps to implementing a gift card API

Businesses of all sizes can implement digital gift cards into their go-to-market strategy. Small businesses can hop on the gift card trend to compete with larger brands and appeal to local shoppers. Structuring your gift card distribution around holidays and other gift-giving occasions is a key tactic to maximizing the effectiveness of your campaigns. So how does it work? Let’s take a look.

Launching, managing, and tracking personal digital gift cards

To get started with a gift card API, once you’ve chosen a provider, you’ll need a web developer resource to use the API documentation to connect the gift card interface to your own internal system(s). The details of this process vary depending on the needs of your business and the scale of your gift card initiatives. But in general, it typically takes companies a week or two to get fully up and running with a new API, which is no different for a gift card API.

As a new Runa customer using our API you’ll be able to sell, redeem, track, and reload gift cards all in one platform.

For example, if you’re using gift cards for employee rewards, you can track any gift card transaction by department or team. Since Runa doesn’t use physical gift cards, you can send cards to anyone, anywhere—including recipients based internationally.

Your recipients can choose their favorite brand from the Runa catalog and decide where their funds will be best spent, based on their personal preferences. 

Wondering how you can get started with Runa? Talk to us and we’ll help you get going.

How long does it take to implement a digital gift card API?

To reiterate what we mentioned in the previous section, implementing a scalable gift card API is relatively easy. For example, Habito, was able to get fully implemented with our API within just a week. Now obviously not every company is able to launch things that quickly, especially with limited development resources, but if you’ve got the software engineer resources on deck, it should be pretty quick and straightforward.


Pros and cons of using a gift card API

Clearly, using a gift card API comes with the obvious benefits of saving time and resources. On the other hand, spending money on gift cards will have an impact on your company’s cash flow and it’s critical to be mindful of how this will impact your departmental budgets and financial model.

How gift card APIs impact your cash flow

There are two kinds of digital gift cards: stock held in a virtual warehouse and gift cards available through an on-demand API.

With gift card stock, digital gift cards are ordered ahead of time and kept until they’re used.  Here are the (minor) downsides of that...

First, you have to pay up front for stock, which involves some planning ahead around your future gift card initiatives. This also means you’ll want to only buy stock for the total amount you aim to spend in the foreseeable future.

Using an on-demand API, on the other hand, is instantaneous. Instead of buying gift cards weeks in advance and waiting for them to be used, you can use an API to order rewards when you need them. Instead of trying to sell a certain number of cards at a specific value, you can simply assign a reward amount to a gift card and go ahead with the order.

Making the right gift card API choice for your business

How should you decide if procuring on-demand gift cards via API is the right move for your business?

If your business has proven ROI using gift card initiatives on a small scale and is ready to take things to the next level, using a gift card API to automate your processes is almost a no brainer.

By purchasing gift cards on-demand in any amount and for any brand that will be delivered instantly, the experience will be optimized for both your business and your recipients. . 

Through Runa, you can integrate your gift card API to make the process of buying, sending, and using gift cards easier for everyone.

To find out more about how Runa’s API works, get a demo and we’ll show you the ropes.


The process of using a gift card API

As businesses expand, the data they collect gets increasingly complex. Many businesses use APIs to share data faster, but creating API ecosystems can lead to a new web of complexity. To manage that, it’s important to manage your APIs with care and keep your integrations up to date to best fit your needs.

With Runa, the processes for transaction, payment, and keeping track of things like gift card balance are integrated into one user-friendly dashboard. Our customer service team is always around to help you out if you get stuck on anything or need a hand with the API setup process.

Some details on using the Runa a gift card API

The low-code interface of our API makes it simple to set up gift cards and rewards programs.

You’ll need to push certain data into the API, including the brand, value of your gift card, currency, and the email of the person who will receive the card.

With access to over 1,300 brands, Runa offers a wide range of choices to fit your needs. Brands include Apple, Uber, DoorDash, Starbucks, Nike, and Amazon

Runa operates in over 25 countries, eighteen currencies, and sixty-four languages. Through the Runa API, businesses can set up the currency and location of the gift card to make sure that it works anywhere the recipient is.

How a gift card API enhances the user experience for recipients

During real-time chats, a business can send customers digital gift cards in the moment, which can then be used immediately. When recipients receive a gift card reward right after taking a certain action, there’s not much else they can ask for.

Meanwhile, access to raw customer data and a large catalog of retailers to choose from allows you to give gifts that best suit your customers’ needs.

Digital rewards programs not only build customer loyalty but also offer an incentive for new customers to invest in your brand too.


Revolutionize your gift card initiatives with Runa

Gift cards are a great way to show an employee you value them or entice a potential customer with a rewards program. Navigating the world of digital gift cards and successfully scaling a gift card campaign can be daunting. That’s where APIs come into play. 

Runa offers a solution that’s built specifically to help companies scale. It’s never been easier to manage and deliver gift cards!

Get a demo of Runa today to see how Runa can help you save time and money on gift card distribution.