Sending global rewards is hard. If you handle international surveys or marketing campaigns, then you have likely already experienced the challenges of rewarding global participants. Delivery, redemption, and availability can all make international incentives more complicated. Luckily, virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards help solve many of these issues.
The Challenges of Global Rewarding
Sending physical gifts or checks as rewards in the U.S. is already a time-consuming and manual process. When you bring that to an international audience, the problems multiply. First, it takes time to collect all the addresses you need. Then, addressing conventions vary by country (not to mention customs requirements), so shipping physical rewards to multiple countries is a process that’s prone to errors.
Even if addressed correctly, delivery can take several days or even weeks, depending on the destination, and rush delivery costs add up quickly when you are dealing with hundreds of participants.
E-Gift Cards and PayPal Can Be Complicated, Too
Choosing digital rewards certainly eliminates the shipping issues, since they can be delivered instantly by email. But digital gift cards from companies like Starbucks and Amazon come with their own limitations. Many are accepted only in a handful of countries or perhaps only in the country where they were issued. Even Amazon gift cards, which offer more international flexibility than most, must be purchased from the correct country’s site. For example, an Amazon.com reward cannot be used on its international sites, such as Amazon.de in Germany. And there are currently Amazon sites for only a handful of countries.
So why not just send them with money via PayPal, then? Yes, PayPal can be used to deliver cash rewards fast, but using its service usually requires setting up each payment individually.
Virtual Visa and Mastercard to the Rescue
International research and marketing programs now have another incentive option: virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards. These digital incentives offer a truly global reward solution that is dramatically easier, faster, and less expensive.
Sending virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards is a great way to incentivize or reward recipients across the world, since they can be delivered instantly by email and issued in several major currencies, including U.S. and Canadian dollars, British pounds, and euros. Arguably their biggest advantage, though, is their wide global usability ― virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards are accepted in over 150 countries, with automatic conversion to the local currency.
For example, a rewards program manager can purchase $50 USD Visa cards and send them to survey respondents in Spain, China, and India. The recipients can make local purchases with the Visa with automatic conversion of $50 USD value to euros, RMB and INR.
These cards can typically be used anywhere Visa or Mastercard is accepted, including for phone and online orders.
A Few Caveats to Note
Although virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards provide unprecedented flexibility for global rewards, there are a few intricacies you should note for your programs and your recipients:
- Unlike most retailer-specific gift cards, Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards typically do come with expiration dates. However, those dates give recipients plenty of time ― often a year or more ― to use their reward.
- Depending on the card’s issuing bank, international transactions made in a country or currency other than the one in which the card was purchased may be subject to a small foreign transaction fee.
- For online purchases, retailers often require the card to have a billing address associated with it. To do that, recipients wanting to use their virtual Visa or Mastercard prepaid card online can follow the issuer’s instructions to easily register their card on the appropriate website.
Options Are Growing for Global Rewards
Instant electronic delivery and wide acceptance make virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards a very convenient option for global rewards programs. They also allow the exact same reward to be used across multiple countries, a huge benefit for multi-country surveys and campaigns, as it takes the hassle out of rewarding international participants.
You now also have the option to get around the limitations of e-gift cards or PayPal with the help of the right digital rewards management platform. A tool like Rybbon can automatically detect the recipient’s location and curate available gift card options based on their country and currency. It can also streamline PayPal rewards to eliminate manual processes.
Need an easy international rewarding solution? Rybbon has you covered, with virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards, its Smart Global Choice feature, or PayPal rewards. Request a demo today to figure out which option works best for you.