That'd be awesome.. but.. just from an accounting pov.. a pain in the behind.
Gift certificates are a pain for the larger retailers, just imagine what it'd be like for a small business.
Once you sell a gift certificate, that money is considered a liability - that means you must present it as such - prepaid orders, unfulfilled. So now your well meaning relatives bought some gift cards.. what if not all of them get cashed? Do you put an expiry date on that money, at which point BPAL can finally claim it liability-free? At what point is it fair to the customer and the company to do so? Are you even legally allowed to put an expiry date on this money? If you're not, it just drags forever-and-ever as a liability in the books because you are not allowed to zero this amount - you as a company are outstanding monies to a customer somewhere out there.
That's the accounting angle.
The actual gift card angle:
What will they look like? How do you email a gift card? Is it going to be a jpg like a coupon or is it going to have some sort of "code"? What if you share it? How does the lab determine which one is genuine?
The lab isn't a retail store so they do not have the capacity to read magnetic stripe cards. The set up for electronic gift cards looks waay too complicated. Since most of the lab's business is online, I am not sure this is a very viable solution.
Now here's something else... the lab could potentially get a sort of "member login, with wishlist" program on their website, a la amazon. However this requires programing, making sure the setup doesn't break copyright laws of other etailers, etc etc etc.
I wish there were gift certificates because I would ask everyone to give me BPAL money...
but I realize how complex it is.. and probably right now, unrealistic