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Volume 2 Issue 5                                                   Information to help you run your business


   Carmine’s Restaurant
   and Gourmet Shop
   Looking for a way to improve its accounting of gift
   certificates, Carmine’s Restaurant and Gourmet
   Shop turned to the NOVA Network for an electronic
   gift card program that met its needs, and more.

   Carmine’s Gourmet Restaurant and Market operates
   two restaurants, a gourmet store and a pet store in
   Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. In late 2002,
   Carmine’s decided the time had come to scrap its
   long standing paper-based gift certificates in favor of
   an electronic gift card program. Carmine’s turned to
   the NOVA Network.

   Challenges with Paper Certificates:
   Carmine’s management team needed a more efficient method of issuing and
   tracking gift certificates. Typically, the sale of each certificate was recorded by
   hand in a ledger. A corresponding entry was made when a certificate was
   redeemed. “Every time a paper certificate goes out the door, it is hard to track,”
   says Scot Sabatino, director of IT operations for Carmine’s. “Plus, if the full value
   of the certificate was not used with the first purchase, we had to issue the
   change on another certificate or give the customer cash.” That meant that a
   $100 gift certificate sale might have resulted in an actual sale of only $25.


   > Best practices for mail order and
     telephone order
   > Merchant reporting tools
                                                                                                                                                                   Overall, the estimated dollar volume on gift cards sold in 2003 totaled $45 billion,
                                                               Carmine’s Success Story                                                      continued from cover
                                                                                                                                                                   up 50% from 2002, according to TowerGroup, a Needham, Massachusetts-based
                                                               Solution:                                                                                           research firm. By 2007, the dollar volume of gift cards sold is expected to hit more
                                                               The NOVA Network’s solution provided Carmine’s with an easy and complete                            than $90 billion.
                                                               method to sell and track electronic gift cards. Gift card transactions run on
                                                                                                                                                                   Customer Satisfaction:
                                                               Carmine’s existing payment terminal; no additional equipment was needed. The
Don’t be Caught                                                cards carry no value until activated and loaded, so they can be merchandised
                                                               openly without the threat of shrinkage. And since redemptions are
                                                                                                                                                                   Overall, gift cards have been a hit with Carmine’s customers and its staff. In fact,
                                                                                                                                                                   Carmine’s is planning to add an electronic gift program at a fifth location, which

in the Cold this                                               automatically deducted from the balance, the cards are used until all funds are
                                                               spent, retaining the full value of the original purchase.
                                                                                                                                                                   is expected to open later this year. With the holiday season fast approaching,
                                                                                                                                                                   Carmine’s is anticipating strong sales of its gifts cards. Given the success Carmine’s
                                                                                                                                                                   has enjoyed with gift cards, it is no wonder that restaurants, retailers, salons,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Research shows that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gift card holders typically
Holiday Season                                                 Further, the tracking and reporting capabilities provided by the NOVA Network
                                                               allow Carmine’s to determine at which location a card was sold, the value of
                                                                                                                                                                   theaters and video stores are offering their own programs, and why gift cards
                                                                                                                                                                   have become the fastest growing segment of the card-based payments business.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                spend 20% above the face
                                                               the original card, how much has been redeemed, and at which locations the                                                                                                                                    value of the card
Gift Cards HEAT UP Holiday Sales!                              cards are being redeemed.                                                                           The NOVA Network’s electronic gift card program is another strong example of our
                                                                                                                                                                   unwavering commitment to providing value-added services that help you grow
The mercury is rising, and so is the opportunity for           Better Control and Greater Efficiencies:                                                            your business.
holiday gift card sales. Merchants everywhere have             If fraudulent use of a card is suspected, the account number can be fed into the
learned the value of electronic gift cards – they                                                                                                                  For more information about establishing a successful gift card
                                                               NOVA Network’s system, which flags the card and halts redemption. “I know
become a “portable billboard” for your business,                                                                                                                   program like Carmine’s, give us a call at 1-800-725-1243.
                                                               where and when the card was loaded with value and can cut it off if need be,”
and they keep customers coming back.                           says Sabatino. “With a paper certificate, it wasn’t too hard for an employee to
> Gain new customers by selling gift cards to loyal            slip one out of the box and use it. With gift cards, the control is much better.”
  customers who give them as presents.                         An extra benefit of selecting the NOVA Network, is that NOVA makes it possible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Connect with NOVA today.
> Earn interest and float revenue from the time the            for cards issued at Carmine’s Positively Perfect pet store to be redeemed at the                                                                                                             NOVA is pleased to offer you a
  cards are sold until the time they are redeemed.             gourmet shop or one of the restaurants. This helps cross-promote its businesses.                                                                                                             dedicated Customer Satisfaction Team
> Unlike paper gift certificates, there’s no cash back
  for partially used cards; you retain the full value of
                                                               “Linking the cards for use at each store was a big winner for us,” concedes
                                                               Sabatino.                                                                                           Get Started TODAY!                                                                       to answer any questions about what
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the NOVA Network can do for you or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to help you resolve any issues you’re
  the card – and that balance brings return visits to          A Big Return on Investment:                                                                         Provide us with your name, phone number and                                              experiencing with your payment
  your store.                                                  Merchants benefit financially from gift card sales as well. Research shows that                     the merchant identification number which is                                              processing services.
                                                               gift card holders typically spend 20% above the face value of the card, on
> Merchandise returns handled with gift cards
                                                               average, according to Frequency Marketing, Inc, a Milford, Ohio-
                                                                                                                                                                   found at the top of your merchant statement.                                             WEB ACCESS: Visit us on the web at
  instead of cash ensure that the money will be
                                                               based consulting firm.                                                                                                                                                              to get
  spent in your store.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            direct access to all the information you
> Electronic gift cards reduce the time, labor and                                                                                                                                                                                                          need. You can check recent deposits,
  fraud associated with paper certificates.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 chargebacks, transaction activity and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            more right from your desktop.
DESIGN YOUR OWN CUSTOMIZED GIFT                                                                                                                                                                                                                             PHONE SUPPORT: Call your dedicated
CARD – OR WE’LL DO IT FOR YOU                                                                                                                                                             Electronic gift cards reduce the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Customer Satisfaction Team at
At the NOVA Network, we’re constantly looking for                                                                                                                                         time, labor and fraud associated                                  1-800-725-1243. Enter the Merchant
ways to help you add value to your business. That’s                                                                                                                                                                                                         Number found on your statement and
why we’re pleased to offer you a special, customized                                                                                                                                      with paper certificates.                                          you’ll receive priority service.
Electronic Gift Card program – one so easy you can
take advantage of it this holiday selling season!
> One service provider for your credit card and gift
  card processing. No need to manage multiple
> Design the card, define program parameters, and
  have reloadable cards. Flexible to meet your
  business needs.
                                                           Connections is prepared by NOVA Information Systems, Inc. as a service for its
                                                           merchants. The information discussed is general in nature and may not apply to
                                                           your specific situation. Please contact us for additional information.

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