Paymentech Hooks Up With MICROS to Expand Hospitality Gift Card Network

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Paymentech, a gift card provider, has partnered with MICROS Systems Inc., a provider of point-of-sale payment processors for the hospitality industry, to expand its hospitality gift card network.

Up to this point, hotels and restaurants have used MICROS processors to process credit and debit card payments. Through the partnership, the two companies have made it possible to process gift cards on the systems. Columbia, MD-based MICROS operates roughly 3,700 point-of-sale processors.

Each individual restaurant using the system can privately label and design a gift card targeted to its customer base. Each merchant may market the free cards in-store or online at their respective Web sites.

Paymentech charges an undisclosed fee to the merchants for the actual plastic card and an undisclosed transaction fee each time the card is used.

"When customers prepay, they do not always redeem the entire amount, leaving the merchants with a five percent or higher profit," said Greg Schaub, group manager of business development at Dallas-based Paymentech. He said that the gift cards elicit repeat business from customers.

Paymentech is targeting both large national chain merchants and "mid-tier" companies with the card, Schaub said, declining to name any new merchants that have signed up through the partnership.

Restaurants and hotels may offer cards with pre-determined dollar values or market non-denominated cards in which the merchants can add money to an account at the MICROS terminal when it is sold to a customer. Minimum and maximum card values are determined on a merchant-specific basis.

Some of Paymentech's existing clients include Outback Steakhouse and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants.

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