Retail analysts blame the downfall of the UK's best known greetings card business on people having fewer birthdays. "It's partly to do with increased life expectancy but also as a result of austerity," said trade journalist Mike Smith. "People are spacing their birthdays apart and in some cases exchanging them for nectar points."
A new "contactless" card, which can be used and re-used, will allow the owner to wave it in front of the face of the birthday person, or a friend who has lost a loved one or passed their driving test. The transaction is then transferred electronically.