Ever get a gift card for a store where you never shop? We’ve all been there. Luckily, Raise, a self-styled marketplace for unwanted gift certificates, makes it easy to find an eager buyer — the company said that its partners include more than 3,000 brands. And on Wednesday, May 24, it’s revamping the whole experience with a mobile wallet.
Raise’s new app, which launches today for iOS and Android devices, is streamlined for easy buying and selling. Now, credit from cards purchased through the app’s sellers can be applied to a prepaid wallet — and used to make purchases online and at brick-and-mortar locations.
The new Raise app automatically sends a push notification for “suggestions nearby” — when you’re near a restaurant or retailer, you’ll get an alert if you have any applicable cards on your account. And a redesigned checkout supports more payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Raise has redesigned the app’s interface, too. A new gift card experience provides “easier and faster access” to gift cards you’ve purchased on Raise are easier to redeem than before, and supports more POS systems. Better balance tracking and card management tools are in tow, as well as the ability to reserve gift cards — now you can place a “hold” on a gift card in your cart for up to five minutes so that it isn’t nabbed out from under you.
Setting up a Raise account requires that you confirm a mobile number, and add payment card information. From there, you can browse available cards by categories like Top Stores, Nearby, and Trending. Each section can be sorted by type, value, percent off, and price. After you buy a card, it’s delivered to a digital wallet within the Raise app.
“Raise is altering the way consumers pay for everyday purchases and [is] transforming payments in a way never before seen,” CEO George Bousis said in a press release. “Raise has helped millions of consumers save and the addition of our new mobile app allows for a seamless experience for both retailers and consumers, making it the easiest and most valuable mobile wallet.”
Since Raise’s launch in 2013, the company said it has saved its more than two million users a collective $125 million. It’s a profitable enterprise, as well — Raise, which takes about a 15-percent commission on gift card sales, has raised $87.2 million in funding from venture capital like Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, and New Enterprise Association.
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