Your Restaurant Technology Resource Center - POS Advice for Restaurants

    Millennials are Using Re-loadable Debit Cards as a Budgeting Tool!

    Millennials ImageEncourage Millennials to Use Your Prepaid Re-loadable Gift Card Like a Debit Card and Increase Your Profits! A TD Bank Survey published in April shows Millennials are using re-loadable debit cards as a budgeting tool. This is the generation facing mountains of student loan debt and double-digit unemployment. The report found, “Consumers recognize that a prepaid card can also help them spend and save intelligently. According to the survey, of the respondents who currently use or have recently used a re-loadable prepaid debit card, 46 percent feel that one of the main benefits of the card is that it allows them to budget better and keep track of their spending.

    Millennials eat out more than the Boomer and GEN X generations, are you marketing to Millennials?

    Millennials quickly adapt to new tools and technologies that help them manage money more efficiently,” said Tami Farrow, Head of Retail Deposit Payments for TD Bank. “We know from our continued research that millennials favor debit cards and want to avoid overspending.”

    This presents restaurateurs with an opportunity, instead of seeing the gift card you sell as something customers purchase once and throw away, think of it more as a re-loadable prepaid debit card! In other words an anchor that keeps customers anchored to your restaurant.Millennial Dinners Out

    Offer an incentive each time the customer re-loads his or her card. For example, offering a free specialty drink with each re-load is going to attract budget conscious Millennials while building loyalty that can last a lifetime. Incentivize Millennials to higher re-loads by adding bonus dollars to their prepaid gift card — say $10 — anytime a customer loads $50 or more onto his or her card.

    It’s well known that customers with restaurant gift cards prioritize these restaurants over others when deciding where to eat out. By turning your gift card into a re-loadable prepaid card complete with incentives you are almost assuring your restaurant is top of his or her mind anytime the cardholder is eating out!

    This strategy relies on gift card processors that support the re-loading of varying amounts onto your prepaid gift cards. The gift card solutions that charge transaction percentages and per-swipe fees, like most credit card processors do, lowering the profitability of your program. Gift card processors that charge an annual fee, like Engage: Value, cap your costs, turning each transaction into a profitable contribution to your bottom line.

    Make it easy to get started. Train servers to introduce the concept to your customers so your customers can earn valuable incentives just be using their prepaid gift card instead of their credit card. Create a table tent promoting your gift card bonus. Print a promotional message on your guest checks and send an email announcing your new gift card incentive program.

    Creating your own prepaid gift card system generates additional cash flow and eliminates credit card fees. It is to your advantage to encourage every customer to use your prepaid gift card as their primary means of payment since it anchors them to your restaurant.

    The bottom line, if you already have a gift card program here is a new way to think outside the gift card box and generate greater loyalty and profits with a stronger cash flow while attracting Millennials. If your current gift card processor charges a transaction percentage or a per-swipe fee it’s time to implement a more cost effective gift card program from Engage: Value.


    Engage LogoAbout our Guest Blogger, Erik G. Paul is president and CEO of and has over a quarter of a century of experience in Point of Sale systems while specializing in gift and loyalty card solutions. His Engage:Value gift card application is quick and easy for restaurateurs, retailers and non-profits. Email Erik at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



    Other Articles That May Interest You:

    SaaS Restaurant POS Pricing Comparison

    Waterproof Receipt Printers: Worth The Investment For POS

    Customer Loyalty Systems for Restaurants are Indispensable

    Is a Restaurant Cash Register all I Need?

    Mobile Payment Migration Keeps Improving – Why Restaurants Should Keep Up