Vouchr makes it easy to brighten up a friend's day

Create and send gift certificates, or vouchers, to your friends using this free iOS app.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

There are times you want to treat a friend to a scoop of ice cream, but quickly getting a gift card into his possession isn't always possible. And you don't always know if your gift was actually used, since there's no alert mechanism to notify you when a gift card has been redeemed.

A free iOS app, called Vouchr, will allow you to create a gift certificate (of sorts) and let any of your Facebook friends claim it when they visit a location you've specified. Originally launched in a small beta just in Canada, it's now available in 18 countries.

To get started, download and install Vouchr from the App Store.

You'll need a Facebook account to log into the app. This is how you will pick the friend or friends you want to give the gift to. You'll also need a PayPal account to link to Vouchr, which is how you fund (and your friends ultimately collect) the gift.

After connecting both your PayPal and Facebook accounts, you're able to view vouchers created by your Facebook friends, and claim them if they're made available for you and you're in the area.

You can then create a voucher for all of your Facebook friends, a group of friends, or a specific friend to claim. Just remember, any voucher you create can only be redeemed by the friend when that person is at the location you selected during the creation process. The first friend to arrive at the location and claim the voucher, gets it.

Once a friend claims the voucher, you'll receive an alert on your iOS device, letting you know the gift is being put to good use and not being wasted. At this time you'll also see the funds come out of your PayPal account. Waiting to take funds from your account until a voucher is claimed doubles up on the effort of ensuring a gift (read: your money) isn't being wasted.

The Vouchr team does have plans to bring the app and service to other platforms, but there's no word on timing.

 

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