Merchants use in-store displays to merchandise gift cards as an impulse buy near the POS register. A customer purchases the card with cash, a check or a credit card for any dollar amount. The amount purchased is recorded as "stored value" or "prepaid" in the host database.
The cardholder presents the gift card for full or partial payment of a purchase. The merchant swipes the card for authorization.
The cardholder can purchase additional value or reload the card for any amount in person, by phone, or both, depending on the system you choose. The merchant can choose to encourage use with incentives like loading $60 in value for the price of $50.
The card system operates to activate cards, and process sales, voids, and balance inquires from your credit card terminal or point of sale (POS) system. The printer produces a paper receipt for each transaction.