Issuing gift cards

We advised companies in:


Gift cards, gift cards, vouchers, vouchers, etc. have been popular instruments used by stores, including e-commerce stores, as a marketing tool for many years and come in many different models.

Before introducing gift cards, a thorough legal review of the planned model is essential. In particular, it is necessary to ensure that the way it is shaped does not violate existing regulations.

If gift cards are used to initiate and order payment transactions, they may fall within the scope of the Payment Services Act (PSA). In particular, it may be that they will qualify as a payment instrument. In doing so, the law provides for a number of exclusions (e.g., the so-called commercial agent exclusion, or the so-called limited network exclusion/limited range exclusion). The possibility of using the exclusions will depend on how the specific business model is shaped.

When using the limited network/limited range exclusion, it should be borne in mind that the PSA provisions stipulate the obligation to submit a notification to the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) when the total value of payment transactions made during the last 12 months exceeds EUR 1,000,000. The notification must be submitted to the FSC within 14 days from the end of the month in which the said amount was exceeded. The notification should include a description of the services offered, indicating under which exemption set forth in Article 6(11)(a) and (b) of the PSA the type of activity is considered to be performed.

In addition, it is worth bearing in mind the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) guidelines on the limited network exemption under the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) of February 24, 2022, EBA/GL/2022/02, although formally these guidelines are addressed only to competent supervisory authorities.

As a standard, it is also necessary to ensure that the operation of gift cards remains in compliance with regulations governing consumer rights (provisions of the Civil Code on abusive clauses, the Law on Consumer Rights, the Law on Prevention of Unfair Market Practices, etc.) or regulations governing the processing of personal data (RODO).

In the event that gift cards will be issued using distributed ledger technology or similar technology, it is additionally necessary to bear in mind the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2023/1114 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 31, 2023 on cryptocurrency markets.

DLK’s advisory included:

  • analysis of the model for issuing gift cards
  • practical recommendations to shape the gift card model in a way that is consistent with current regulations

Lawyers involved in the project:

Krzysztof Korus
attorney-at-law, partner Krzysztof Korus

Bartosz Wyżykowski
attorney-at-law, partner Bartosz Wyżykowski

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