First Data Acquires TWI to Broaden Digital Gift Card Offerings





First Data, a global leader in payment technologies, has gone into the gift card business.

The company announced recently it had acquired TWI, (Transaction Wireless Inc.) a digital gift card pioneer.

This deal follows First Data’s acquisition of Gyft, a digital platform that lets consumers buy, send, reload, manage and redeem digital gift cards using their mobile devices.

Barry McCarthy, Executive Vice President, Network and Security Solutions at First Data, said in a news release:

“First Data now offers one of the industry’s most integrated, complete and comprehensive prepaid gift card solution at scale. Along with our strong gift card processing and Gyft solutions, Transaction Wireless’s outstanding proprietary and comprehensive digital gifting platform will help our clients expand and accelerate their gift card programs.”

With the acquisition, TWI brings a significant collection of national brands—such as Dominos, The Cheesecake Factory, Panda Express, AMC Entertainment, and StubHub—who have trusted the company with their gift card programs.

Despite these big name clients, the news has implications for small business owners too, as First Data says the new arrangement allows them to streamline their retail service.

A First Data spokesperson said:

“Typically businesses need to work with multiple vendors for all the different components of their prepaid program. With the acquisition of TWI, First Data is streamlining the process for business owners as they will now have one point of contact for all aspects of their gift cards.”

The companies say the new partnership will also allow businesses to monitor all aspects of their prepaid program in one integrated technology interface, and analysis what kind of gift cards are performing better than others (for example, plastic vs. digital).

Transaction Wireless’s Basil Abifaker said in the news release:

“We have worked hard to build a world-class gifting platform and are delighted to join the First Data family. Our capabilities, when combined with First Data’s global payments leadership, will drive even more innovation and growth in the gift card market.”

First Data declined to discuss financial terms of the deal.



Based in Atlanta, First Data has 23,000 owner-associates and operations in 34 countries. Founded in 2006, the San Diego-based TWI is a cloud-oriented company with 25 employees that helps retails modernize their gift card operations.

Image: First Data/YouTube 1 Comment ▼


Tom Coombe


Tom Coombe Tom Coombe is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a professional writer for over 15 years, spending most of that time covering news in the Lehigh Valley. He's worked as a reporter for the Allentown Morning Call and an editor for AOL's Patch.com news service. Tom has also freelanced for WFMZ, the Produce Marketing Association and a number of other publications.

One Reaction

  1. Aira Bongco

    I am just wondering. Are digital gift cards still an ‘in’ thing? I could still remember the days when my friends would send it to me but I don’t think it is as profitable now.

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