CommBank partners with Karta

CBA announces a new strategic partnership to disrupt the $29bn gift card industry in Australia for consumers and businesses

Friday, 29 October 2021: CommBank has announced a new strategic partnership with gift card disrupter Karta to revolutionise the gifting experience for retailers and consumers.

The partnership will include CBA taking a 20 per cent shareholding in Karta.

Karta is a start-up gift card platform developed by a team of gift card and payments experts. Karta brings together technology and gifting experiences to simplify gift cards for consumers and businesses. This new investment strengthens CommBank’s Shopping offering following its stake in online shopping hub, Little Birdie earlier this year.

CBA’s Executive General Manager, Everyday Banking, Kate Crous said:“Shopping is a rapidly growing sector where customers expect more sophisticated offerings and experiences.

“We want to reimagine the shopping experiences for Australians to simplify the purchase, delivery and use of gift cards. At the same time there is an opportunity to allow people to better support the businesses they love and choose to shop from by enabling the businesses that offer and accept gift cards.

“Through this new partnership, we will revolutionise gift cards as we know them by allowing customers to purchase a gift card from any participating business, share it electronically with anyone, anywhere. And they can redeem it from their digital wallet anytime.

“By bringing together our first-class CommBank app, rich customer data and extensive business relationships, we can create more personalised shopping experiences for customers and businesses”

[1] As reported in Businesswire, Oct 2021. The gift card industry in Australia is expected to reach USD$22bn (AU$29bn) in 2021 and US$30bn (AU$40bn) in 2025.

Karta CEO, David Anderson said, “Gift cards are a core part of the shopping experience and it is estimated that it will grow to $40bn in the next five years. While gift cards have existed for nearly 30 years, they have not evolved to meet customer needs and preferences as they have transitioned to online shopping and digital payments.

“Consumers and businesses are often left frustrated by restrictive expiry dates, burdensome costs to administer gift cards, wastage on cards, as well as the costly investment to integrate gifting into merchant systems. Technology has changed but gifting has not.

“Karta’s technology platform is globally scalable and is bolstered by a multi-year strategic partnership with Mastercard, leveraging the payment company’s network and tokenisation. This means that Karta gift cards can be used at any participating merchant that accepts Mastercard, with no integration whatsoever”.

With Karta the gifting experience is better for both consumers and businesses.

[2] As reported in Businesswire, Oct 2021. The gift card industry in Australia is expected to reach USD$22bn (AU$29bn) in 2021 and US$30bn (AU$40bn) in 2025.

Shoppers can purchase gift cards from any participating retailer digitally. 

 This new strategic partnership will also help to drive leads to businesses. 

It will not rely on businesses opting in to benefit. And there are no integration costs for businesses. 

Karta will be available to shoppers from early 2022.

CommBank’s Shopping offering includes its partnerships with Karta, Little Birdie, Klarna and its cashback program, CommBank Rewards.

CommBank will look to further evolve its Shopping offering to provide the best experiences for customers and merchants.

About CBA’s Shopping Offering

CommBank’s Shopping offering includes its partnerships with Karta, Little Birdie, Klarna and its fully owned cashback program, CommBank Rewards.

Since its launch in August, online shopping homepage Little Birdie has grown to over 100 000 active subscribers and has generated over 300,000 of merchant referrals.

About Karta

Karta is a gift card marketplace which aims to simplify the gift card experience by making it more accessible for merchants and consumers. It is aiming to remodel the gift card market to both provide access to small merchants for whom it is uneconomic today, as well as changing the economic model so revenue is not dependent on “breakage” (consumers not spending).