This is the kind of question that I love because it draws a lot of answers, many of which are valid.
The answer I was thinking of was to make it easy to scan. Supposedly the Amazon app can scan real world objects. But Amazon requires you to manually enter the claim code. You should be able to scan a bar code or QR code to automatically apply the code to your account after logging in. OCR technology is also good enough that you should be able to scan the text as printed.
Amazon has a wide range of gift card products. Some of the responses focused on emailing gift cards and doing things electronically. Amazon already does that.
But Amazon also offers gift cards at retail and through incentive programs. This particular gift card was received through a credit card rewards program. I’m not exactly sure what the magnetic stripe is for, because I can’t swipe it on my computer. My best guess is that it’s for activation.
This particular card doesn’t have the scratch off; cards sold at retail do. (There used to be gift card fraud where crooks would copy down activation codes and wait for them to be activated.)
Some of the other great answers:
- Print the card on card stock so it can be recycled or biodegrade. Whole Foods does this with their gift cards. I’ve seen other gift cards made of a plasticky corn based product.
- Use all alphabetic characters. The intermingling of numbers and letters makes entering the code on mobile devices especially hard because you have to toggle between keyboards.
- Make the print of the redemption code larger so that older folks or folks with vision issues can more easily read it.
Victor: iTunes already does this, making it easy to redeem Starbucks app and song of the week codes.