Aug 13th, 2012

I can’t remember how long we’ve been asking ourselves the following question: why doesn’t Google release gift cards for the Android Market Google Play Store? I can think of many instances where I would have rather bought Google Play Store cards instead of paying for each app individually.

For one, it would be a lot easier to balance my bank account every day as I’d only have to book one purchase for all my downloads.

Secondly, I’ve had the urge to gift apps or money for apps from time to time, and without having to buy a gift card from a major credit card vendor I’d just give people the cash instead (which was likely used on copious amounts of soda).

As big a convenience as it would be for us users, it would be a nice deal for Google, too. The gift card business is huge, and I know from personal experience that my family members would rather issue those instead of thoughtful gifts come Christmas or my birthday. It would drive revenue to the Google Play Store because it would encourage content that they wouldn’t buy otherwise.

We know they have the capability to implement digital gift cards as evidenced by the $25 credit you get when buying the Nexus 7, so what’s the big deal?

I’d venture to guess Google just isn’t interested in going the physical card model as they’re not well-versed in the retail world, but what’s holding them back from pulling an Amazon and offering digital gift cards to those willing and able to buy them?

While I couldn’t tell you the numbers Apple racks up in iTunes Gift Cards, I know from my time in retail that those things fly off the shelves on a daily basis. There’s a huge market out there for them.

By capitalizing on it Google would enjoy even more revenue from paid apps than what they’re already seeing. It’s a win-win situation and it’s high time they took advantage. What say you?