eBay files patent for smart gift cards

For many people, giving a voucher, gift card or coupon as a present is considered something of a cop out on the present giving front. It puts the onus on the receiver to get what they want with the cash equivalent.

eBay have reportedly filed a patent that could put an end to end this and invented a smart gift voucher. It could be spent in any shop using smartphone technology, using PayPal presumably, and allow the giver some say and grace on the purchase.

Some purchases could be banned, say booze and fags, whilst others encouraged. The voucher could have a greater value if spent on books and educational materials but be worth less if frittered away on fashion and fripperies.

The giver and recipient could even enter into a discussion on what the voucher could be best spent on. The idea is a good one.

The Telegraph reported the patent here. And the patent filing from eBay is here.

It’s not clear whether the idea is even under development. Requests for comment from eBay have been declined.