Bitgifting.com has launched a collaborative online gifting platform, through which people can collaborate and contribute funds online, and the site converts it to a Visa powered virtual or physical gift card. The site has tied-up with Ratnakar Bank for offering the card. Contributors from different locations can pool in varying amounts for a birthday, festival or a custom event. Since the prepaid card is accepted by all merchants that recognize Visa, it can be used for making all kinds of physical and online payments. The users can also link their Facebook accounts with the site, which then keeps a track of occasions and events of their friends.

The site has been founded by Fahad Moti Khan who has previously founded Technology 9 Labs, which offers consulting services, web solutions and mobile solutions.

How it works:

After signing up, a user can contribute a minimum of Rs 101 and a maximum of Rs 2501, and then invite friends via Facebook or through e-mail, who can join and contribute online. The site accepts Indian credit cards, debit cards and internet banking options for payments. Existing users can keep a track of upcoming events or join other events for which contribution has already commenced. The receiver has a choice of either receiving a virtual gift card online or a plastic gift card couriered to his physical address. The physical gift card can be used everywhere Visa is accepted both at physical retail stores and for online ecommerce transactions. However, the card is valid only for transactions made in India. The gift card is valid for 12 months from date of activation, and can’t be reloaded.

 Our Take:

The service looks really interesting as it allows users to crowd-source gifting, and offers a pre-paid debit card which gives the recipient the flexibility to use it as he likes. We also loved the website’s design and the artwork in the how-it-works guide. Perhaps the site could also tie-up with some online merchants, and offer deals on gifts. This could also be a monetization stream. We’re not sure how the site is monetizing at the moment, as the service is being offered free.