The Latest Development for Gift Cards

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Friday, February 19th, 2010

but will it help you spend down to the last penny?

Target recently introduced its Mobile Gift Card which allow customers with web-enabled cell phones to use their gift cards at this big retailer. Starbucks also has a similar mobile gift card iPhone application on a trial basis in the Seattle and Silicon Valley areas.

Consumers should know that no matter the format a gift card is presented or used, the protections will remain the same. Mobile gift cards are subject to state and federal gift card laws.

But not all mobile payment applications are the same. Watch out when the mobile application’s payment method is linked to a prepaid card or goes directly onto your wireless bill as there is a lack of consumer protections for these types of payment methods.

Whether or not consumers will start using the latest version of the gift card on their mobile phones remains to be seen.

Our tip on using mobile gift cards are largely the same as using traditional gift cards: spend the entire value as soon as you can!

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