Vouchers

Definition

Vouchers are bonds with a certain monetary value, entitling the bearer to redeem them for specific goods or services.

Principles

Vouchers are tokens which entitle the bearer to redeem them for the goods or services specified by the voucher. Vouchers usually have a monetary equivalent, and have a wide variety of uses, the most common being discount vouchers and gift vouchers. Gift vouchers are purchased from retailers or service providers and entitle the bearer to redeem the voucher for goods or services from that retailer for an equivalent monetary value. Discount vouchers entitle the bearer to a certain value or percentage off particular items bought at participating stores. Discount vouchers have become increasingly popular as a way of promoting business. Vouchers, unlike cash, are not technically legal tender and only participating retailers are obliged to accept them. In addition, vouchers often have expiry dates after which they become invalid. A number of websites collect discount vouchers from stores and offer them to interested parties online. Discount vouchers encourage customers to spend money in-store by effectively lowering prices. Gift vouchers guarantee that money is spent in-store, as they are purchased first before being redeemed in the same store (or a partner store).

Discount vouchers case study: Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza offers discount vouchers on a number of takeaway items or combinations of items. These vouchers are usually found free in magazines, or they ‘re downloadable from the Internet. The vouchers often offer a discount on the second pizza purchased, or a discount when the customer spends over a particular amount in one transaction.

Gift vouchers case study: National Book Tokens

National Book Tokens are a gift card – or vouchers – which can be purchased in book stores or online. For the gift card, the customer purchases the card and then charges it with cash, which can only be spent on books within participating book retailers. The minimum charge the card allows is £1, and the maximum £250. Once the money has been loaded onto the gift card it may not be exchanged for cash unless the card is cancelled. The gift cards expire if they are not used for 24 months. In the case of paper vouchers, the customer exchanges cash for the equivalent sum in National Book Tokens, and receives a paper voucher in return. The vouchers can then be redeemed at participating book stores to purchase books. The vouchers and gift cards are often purchased as presents for other individuals.

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