REGINA, Saskatchewan — Kirby Kazeil, owner of SUDS Full Service Car Wash, and his business partners Chad Molleken and Chad Cardiff developed an electronic gift card, AnyCard.ca, for the customers of Kazeil’s full-serve carwash in Regina, according to the Regina Leader-Post.

Because of the high cost associated with the purchasing, marketing and distributing of gift cards to customers, stated the article, the $10 billion per year business is generally too expensive for small and medium-sized businesses.

“The idea [for AnyCard.ca] came up a couple of years ago,” said Kazeil in the article. “I was looking for a way to extend our reach with gift cards. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry, but a lot of small and medium-sized [businesses] have really been left out in the cold when it comes to gift cards.”

Kazeil reported that ordering 2,000 gift cards costs approximately $4,800, which includes the cards and the sleeves to put them in, and covers the cost of shipping, continued the article.

He explained that the total expense is around 30 percent of the gift card’s value, which doesn’t leave much for a profit margin, added the article.

Kazeil and his partners Cardiff, who is a Web designer, and Molleken, who operated a company turning credit card reward points into cash/useable materials, worked together to develop software that could sell electronic gift cards online, informed the article.

“They can be purchased 24 hours a day. You can personalize the cards. You can send them via text or email within a couple of minutes to somebody. You can do that on a Sunday, on a holiday, in the evening, in the morning, whenever you like,” stated Kazeil in the article.

With larger businesses and retailers having access to electronic outlets, multimillion-dollar marketing budgets, etc., competition is high, reported the article.

“It’s pretty tough to compete with them as a small or medium-sized business,” said Kazeil in the article. “So we started to sell gift cards online and, as that market grew, it basically grew into a business.”

The partners’ business, AnyCard.ca, is set up so a small/medium-sized business can send e-gift cards through smartphones or other devices to its customers by text message, email or even social media outlets like Facebook, continued the article, and at a fraction of the cost of a physical gift card.

The business charges a 10 percent fee for each gift card sold, noted the article, as well as offers free set-up and no monthly charges or fees.

“There’s no … overhead cost. There’s no monthly fee; there’s no minimum fees. You simple pay a fee for every card you sell,” explained Kazeil in the article. “Basically, it enables [small businesses] to offer the same type of service that any large business can. It allows them to compete.”

You can find the article here.