Challenging traditional gift cards on the market, Snap & Spend is introducing a new concept in gift cards by gifting actual cash.

Murray Jackel, Matthew Flammea and their families came up with the idea over a year ago with the aim to offer people a fun alternative to giving gift cards and make the giving of cash special again.

“I understand that gifting cash is looked down upon in some countries and cherished in other parts of the world, for example, Japan,” says Flammea.

“Cash can be seen as a lazy option, you just put some cash in a card on the way to an event, it’s a fairly easy thing to do. This is not the case with Snap & Spend, as you can’t buy it on the way to the event nor even during your normal shop.

“Snap & Spend is only sold online, and even though it’s shipped the same day, it relies on the postal service which means you have to pre-order before the event. So the stigma of ‘lack of forethought’ or they just put it together on the way is foiled,” he says.

Co-founder Darcy Flammea adds they noticed a problem in Australia (and around the world) where billions of dollars of gift card money expires before being used.

“I received gift vouchers on birthdays and particularly at Christmas that became expired before I used them or were locked into a store that sold products I just didn’t need right then,” Darcy explains.

“The truth is cash is still a better gift than a card. Cash doesn’t expire―it’s not locked into a particular store and you can spend it anywhere you want, when you want―and on what you want. But giving cash as an alternative can seem not special enough as a gift. We came up with the idea of the Snap & Spend gift card with a goal to offer people a fun alternative to giving gift cards and making the giving of cash special again.”

So how does it work? The Snap & Spend Gift Card is a custom-moulded, double-layered plastic card with a high gloss finish. You simply insert your cash gift inside the card. The card also provides a space to personalise with a message.

The money is held securely inside the card which features a see-through window on the reverse to make the cash visible. Once gifted, the Snap & Spend Gift Card is the right size to fit in a wallet or purse until your friends or family find just the right thing to spend the gift on―and with a ‘snapable’ perforation through the centre of the gift card, when they’re ready to spend your gift, they simply Snap & Spend.

“For the consumer, Snap & Spend gift cards have considerable benefits. Although the recent expansion of the expiry time on standard gift cards has made store cards more user-friendly, this still doesn’t change the statistics reflected on the Australian Government Treasury survey,” says Flammea.

“The survey shows 40.5 per cent of people receiving gift cards actually don’t want them, thus leading to a growing market of second-hand gift card holders who sell them for 60 to 90 per cent of the original purchase price, this is shown on the government website.

“Organisations have a name for gift cards that haven’t been fully spent―they call it breakage and the company should expect on average between six to seven per cent of the value of the card as a windfall. These numbers come from the same government site and when the gift card is issued in the store, the retailer is expecting the card user to spend more than the card is worth.

“This is in order to bolster store sales, quite often there can be money left on the gift card also referred to as breakage, a win-win for the storeowner. I could go on about the millions of dollars that don’t even make it to the stores, some say tens of millions.”

Flammea adds that every year you read articles exposing the gift card industry and the amount of unredeemed money left on gift cards.

“People are often angry and disappointed with their experiences when redeeming their gift cards. This increase in anger over disputes with gift cards escalated so much that the government became involved to try and level out the playing field. The government extended the 12-month expiry date to three years.

“A gift is a gift when there are no conditions, you may want new sportswear or a turkey on the Christmas table, whatever makes you smile. This was the inspiration behind our product,” he concludes