What are the current major trends in the motivation vouchers market?

The UK reward market is moving rapidly from paper vouchers to retailer gift cards.  E-vouchers are still in their infancy with technology companies like Amazon and Comet leading this development.  The growth in retailer cards is key, they facilitate the delivery of value to employees and in addition mean that companies can reward staff quickly and instantly by loading a card that the employee had previously been sent.

Employers are also now using open loop payment cards, such as a Mastercard or Visa, as an employee incentive which is pre-loaded and staff can then spend anywhere those cards are accepted. Cards such as this offer staff exclusive opportunities for staff to enjoy valuable savings at leading retailers, leisure outlets and service suppliers.. These types of benefits are especially appealing at a time when budgets are increasingly stretched as employees can earn savings from things such as grocery shopping and other essential purchases. Branded cards work well, primarily because of the simplicity and flexibility that a payment card offers but also because the employee is constantly reminded about the employer programme as they use their card. People are now well disposed to using cards to make payments and being able to use a card anywhere accepting VISA or MasterCard, which is over 20 million outlets worldwide, makes it extremely user-friendly.

Furthermore, within a flexible benefits scheme, some companies offer mechanisms where employees can allocate a certain amount of their salary to be loaded onto a branded pre-paid card that delivers discounts on shopping.

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