Australians are choosing digital over plastic gift cards

Gift cards have always been a popular present for birthdays, special occasions and seasonal holidays such as Christmas.

However, Australians seem to have had a change of heart when it comes to the single-use plastic cards with nearly three in five saying they would prefer a digital alternative because it is more environmentally friendly.

PayPal research shows that Australians waste up to 140 tonnes of plastic on gift cards each year. Over a quarter (27 per cent) of Australians hasn’t redeemed one or more plastic gift cards in the past year. Of these Aussies, 36 per cent indicated this was because they forgot about it, the card expired (32 per cent), or because there was nothing in the store they wanted (28 per cent). Also, more than a third has purchased a plastic gift card because there wasn’t a digital option available.

“With gift cards being one of the most popular gifts given by Australians, they are an important part of our gift-giving culture, especially as we head towards the busy Christmas season,” says Emily Curlewis, PayPal Australia’s resident shopping expert.

“However, it is clear that Australians are becoming more environmentally conscious, and this is now translating to their shopping and gift-giving experiences.”

In response to this, PayPal has launched its own digital gift store, which will enable consumers to seamlessly and securely purchase, store and send personalised gift cards online or from their mobiles.

“More and more, services are being digitised to create convenient and enjoyable customer experiences. PayPal has worked with our retail partners, some of the biggest in Australia, to transform one of the last physical elements of the shopping experience into a digital one,” she adds.  

“It’s wonderful to see that mobile and ecommerce trends are also working to create a more sustainable future. The outmoding of plastic gift cards is just one small step of many towards achieving a future that embraces both technology and sustainability.”