According to the latest news, Amazon is launching a new gifting feature that will allow Prime service subscribers to send gifts to others using only an email address or phone number without the need for an address. The catch is, gift-givers need to be Amazon Prime members. As of now, the program is limited to the continental US but the company might soon expand the feature to other regions. Moreover, the feature can be used only on mobile devices for the time being.
Let’s take a look at how the feature works. Suppose a potential gift giver wants to surprise a recipient with a present but does not know the recipient’s mailing address. In this case, all that the gift giver needs to have is either the recipient’s email address or phone number. After choosing the gift on the Amazon mobile app, the gift-giver selects the “add gift receipt for easy returns” options during check-out.
After this, there will be an option to “let the recipient provide their address.” The gift-giver then adds the recipient’s email address or mobile number. Note that at this point, the gift giver’s card is not charged, instead, a hold is put on their payment card.
Amazon then sends a notice to the potential recipient via a text message or email that there is a present from the gift-giver waiting for her. If the recipient does not have an Amazon account, he or she can create it at this point. All that the recipient needs to accept a gift is an Amazon account. However, the sender of the gift must be an Amazon Prime member.
It is to be noted that after clicking the link and checking the item, the recipient can decide whether to decline the gift or accept the gift or convert the same to an Amazon gift card. If the gift is accepted through either the gift or through the Amazon gift card, the gift giver won’t be notified but he or she will be charged from the payment card.
If the recipient ignores the gift notification then the gift expires after a few days automatically and the gift-giver will get back the blocked amount of money in his card. This is a nice initiative from Amazon’s point of view as it will theoretically add new members who do not yet have an Amazon account.