CBA takes 20% stake in gift card start-up Karta


Commonwealth Bank has announced a new strategic partnership with gift card disruptor Karta to revolutionize the gift experience for consumers and businesses.

As part of the partnership, CBA will invest new capital in Karta in return for a 20% stake in the Australian company.

Karta is a start-up gift card platform developed by a team of gift card and payment experts. Karta brings together technology and gift experiences to simplify gift cards for consumers and businesses.

The partnership with Karta strengthens CommBank’s Shopping offering following the Group’s investment in the online shopping hub, Little Birdie, earlier this year. CBA’s Shopping offering also includes its 50-50 joint venture with Klarna Australia and the bank’s cash back program, CommBank Rewards.

Kate Crous, CBA Executive Director, Everyday Banking, said: “Shopping is an area where consumers expect more sophisticated offers and experiences.

“We want to reinvent the shopping experiences for Australians. Simplifying the purchase, delivery and use of gift cards and allowing more businesses to participate in this market will allow CBA customers to better support the businesses they love.

“Through our new partnership with Karta, we will revolutionize gift cards as we know them by allowing consumers to purchase a gift card from any participating business, offer it electronically at any time. anyone, anywhere. And their friend or loved one can use it anytime from their digital wallet.

“By bringing together our market-leading CommBank app, rich customer data and extensive business relationships, we can create more personalized shopping experiences for consumers and businesses. And we plan to continue to develop our Shopping offer, ”said Ms. Crous.

David Anderson, CEO of Karta, said: “Gift cards are an integral part of the shopping experience and the prepaid card market in Australia is estimated to reach $ 40 billion over the next five years. While gift cards have been around for almost 30 years, they haven’t evolved to meet the needs and preferences of consumers as they shifted to online shopping and digital payments.

“Consumers and businesses are often frustrated with restrictive expiration dates, high costs of administering gift cards, wasted cards, and the costly investment to integrate gifts into merchant systems. The technology has changed, but the freebies have not.

“Karta’s technology platform is scalable globally and is enhanced by a multi-year strategic partnership with Mastercard, leveraging the payment company’s network and tokenization technology. This means that Karta Gift Cards can be used at any participating business that accepts Mastercard, with no point-of-sale integration required whatsoever, ”Mr. Anderson said.

With Karta, the gift experience has clear benefits for consumers and businesses. These include:

Buyers can purchase gift cards from any participating retailer digitally and physically;
This new strategic partnership will also help generate leads to businesses; and
There are no integration fees for companies.
Karta will be available to buyers from early 2022.


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