Late November, Minister Kean announced that the commencement date for the new gift card laws will be 31 March 2018.
The new laws will force NSW businesses to extend their gift card expiry date to three years or face fines of up to $11,000.
ADMA had previously raised concerns about the new laws and held an informative roundtable session to consult on the implications the extended expiry dates on business. Some of the concerns included the lack of time to adjust to the changes, lack of clarity and the impact of the new laws on business.
The Minister’s office reassures businesses that the transitional period of a number of months will enable them to address the existing inventories of gift cards. Businesses are encouraged to review their existing stock in time for the changes.
Further details about the transitional timetable, resources and guidance materials are in development and will be available shortly.
Some key players in the industry have already started preparations for the new regulations. JB Hifi/Good Guys have made the move to wipe out expiry dates altogether nationally, effective November 2017. Woolworths Group has now announced that as of 31 March 2018, all gift cards will carry 36-month expiry dates nationally. Woolworths Group covers a range of stores within the Woolworths corporate group including Woolworths Supermarkets, BIG W, Dan Murphy's, BWS, Cellarmasters and Caltex Woolworths Petrol.
RedBalloon has also opted to extend expiry dates early, backdating the change so it applies to gift vouchers purchased on or after 18 October 2017 and applying it nationally and to New Zealand customers.
But RedBalloon CEO Naomi Simpson acknowledges the extra pressure this will place on the 2,000-plus partner businesses.
“We are delighted to be able to do it [extend expiry dates] for every voucher we deliver, but equally concerned about the impact on small suppliers, which is why we’re not asking our suppliers to hold their prices or types of experiences for three years,” she said.
RedBalloon has decided to absorb the financial burden of carrying the extra 24-month customer credit in order to protect its partners.
“It’s something we’re proud and happy to do on behalf of our business partners, as well as delivering great value to our customers.”
ADMA will continue to provide information and clarification about the meaning of loyalty programs and to engage with the NSW Government about appropriate exemptions, including promotional offers.
For more information about the new gift card laws, or if you have any questions or concerns about compliance ADMA members can contact the Legal and Regulatory Affairs Manager or call 02 9277 5412.