By Stoytcho Vlaykov of Cashwave
The rapid digitisation of the gift card industry has enabled Cashwave.com to build a unique European digital rewards portfolio of top international brands and well-known local retailers, becoming a trusted one-stop shop with 300 brands in 32 countries across the continent.
It has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, maintaining its track record as a partner of choice for the world’s leading global Employee Rewards and Recognition programmes that serve the employees of many Fortune 500 corporations.
Cashwave has grown rapidly over the last three years, hitting a digital gift card transaction volume of EUR 17mn in 2021. The wider industry is sitting up and taking notice. In November Stoytcho Vlaykov, co-founder and managing director of Cashwave received the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 2021 Incentive Awards ceremony in London.
Stoytcho explains the roots of the company’s recent success:
“Cashwave’s clients initially looked to us as a source of eGift cards in central and eastern Europe, countries like Poland, Czechia and Romania. We invested a lot of time and energy to build relationships with the leading e-commerce retailers in the wider region. Basically, we solved a “black-box” pain point for our clients, a region which they didn’t know or understand, with languages that are not widely spoken, currencies that are not widely used and business cultures which are often not easily understood.”
These days Cashwave offers a range of digital rewards in many western European markets such as the Netherlands, France, Germany and Switzerland, it remains true to its origins and goes the extra mile to source eGift cards in territories like Turkey, Serbia, North Macedonia, Croatia and Ukraine.
Stoytcho continues: “Clients say there are three key benefits to working with Cashwave: first, they get a more relevant, local digital reward brand selection, especially in some traditionally hard-to-service countries. Secondly, they lower or eliminate back-office costs through simplifying their workload and reducing complexity, through consolidating their purchasing processes with fewer selected suppliers. The third advantage for large volume clients is the fact that the company does not charge any set-up or monthly fees, irrespective of whether they place bulk orders or connect via the API.
Our clients were looking for a partner who can source brands, purchase and handle stock of e-gift cards, employing technology and efficient processes while ensuring customer satisfaction across a whole continent. We’ve done that really well.”
The company has focused exclusively on the digital format: “that helped us to leverage the growing trend towards digital in the gift card industry,” Stoytcho explains, “in 2017/18 digital gift cards accounted for 25% of reward redemptions in employee rewards catalogues. Clients have recently indicated to us that this figure is now in the range of 50%-60% of the total redemption value. In some markets where merchandise and other options are not as readily available, that share has risen to 80% and above”.
These benefits have seen the company grow and develop its number of clients while also increasing its network of brands. It has grown its annual gift card volume by 100% for each of the past 3 years, reaching a record EUR 3 million volume in December 2021 and the outlook for 2022 is already looking rosy.
To learn more about how Cashwave can help you source eGift cards across Europe as simply as in the UK – check their gift card portfolio at https://cashwave.com/en/catalogue – watch their video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjaMc1Rxe_A