Expiring card balances is generally seen as good practice from an accounting point of view; allowing card balance liabilities to sit on your balance sheet indefinitely might raise a few eyebrows when it comes to reviewing your company accounts. Expiring the balance on a gift card is known as ‘breakage’ in the industry.
You may also want to go beyond a simple expiry, and set rules about when a card becomes valid after purchase, and limit the date range for when a card is valid.
In Toggle, it’s dead simple to start customising cards and managing customer notifications. When creating or updating a gift card product, use the Validity rules box. You'll see a few options, and we'll run through what each of these do.
Cards should become active
This controls how many days the card becomes active after purchase. You may want to use this feature to mitigate against fraudulent purchases.
Purchasers will be aware if this feature is used on the webshop before making a purchase.
Recipients of a gift card will also be told the start and end date the card is active for on their gift email.
This is a specific date that this gift will become valid from. This is optional, and independent of the cards should become active rule. So, if a gift is purchased after the valid after date but is set to activate 3 days after purchase, it will still become valid 3 days after.
Expire card balance
This is the length of time after purchase that the balance on the card will reduce to £0. You can select On a specific date if you want to set the expiry to a date rather than a period of time after purchase.
On the front-end of the customer experience, they'll see on their voucher the date it'll expire. On the back-end of the Toggle system the voucher will actually expire at 3am the day after the stated expiry date. This is to ensure all customers get the full 24 hours available to spend their voucher on its final day.
Send reminder email
You can set a reminder email to go any number of days or weeks before the balance is due to expire. This is generally good practice to give your customers a friendly reminder to come in and spend their gift.
Reminder emails will only go out to customers who we have an email address on file for. This could be the email that was chosen by someone sending a digital card or the one used to register the card.
So it’s still good practice to make sure expiry terms are clearly shown on your physical cards as not all cards will have an email address associated with them.
A few things to note
If not a specific date, expiry is set from latest value top-up
A card balance will always expire based on the last top-up date. So for example, if a customer receives a gift card on 1st January and it is set to expire 6 months later, it will expire at the end of June. However, if there was a top up on the card on, say 30th June, the card would then expire at the end of December instead; so a top-up preserves the balance and extends the expiry date.
When a balance expires, the whole balance is marked as a breakage, not just the oldest top-up.
Another way of thinking about this: cards do not expire, but balances do.
Customising reminder emails
You can customise the reminder emails that go out to your customers in the Toggle dashboard. To do this, head to Customise > Expiry emails.
Configure the text copy you want to include in the email and when you want to check out what your email looks like, hit the Preview button.
What does the customer see?
For a gift card that has an expiry schedule configured, a line of text will automatically start to appear on your Toggle webshop like this:
Digital gift cards will show the expiry date in the email after purchase.
Customers will also automatically have a reminder email sent to them on the schedule you have configured. This will tell them when the card is due to expire along with any of the customised copy and calls to action you have configured in your reminder email.
Balance checks and card registration
Customers checking their balance or registering their card will have the expiry date displayed alongside the current card balance.
We recommend physical cards you sell on-site all have the expiry terms clearly printed on the cards. A customer can also always register their card to check their balance or when it is due to expire.
A customer who registers their in-store purchased card can also receive an expiry email notification, if you've set the expiration date on your account.
To set the rules for the expiry date and when to send the expiry email, head over to Gifts > In-Store Gift.