Distributor Tech Data UK says point of sale activation (POSA) cards in retailers will die out.
The distributor believes they will eventually be replaced by 'Print to Receipt' (PTR) software download codes. It has added these to its electronic software distribution system, which it says makes it easier for retailers to sell digital software.
The PTR feature can be integrated into retailers’ point-of-sale systems, enabling 16-digit activation pins to be printed onto the customer’s purchase receipt.
James Reed, Director of Software and Systems at Tech Data UK, said: "POSA cards will eventually disappear. If you have thousands of software products, you need thousands of cards and the costs add up. With PTR, the activation code is simply printed onto the till receipt at the check-out and that’s all there is to it.
"With Print to Receipt the retailer can deliver the activation code to the customer instantly and we can now integrate that onto their tills very easily.
"Digital distribution is the future for software sales in retail and with PTR, Tech Data is making it even easier for retailers to make use of this quick, simple, and extremely effective way of selling software in store."
Tech Data's 'Active-here' product range includes software from Symantec, Adobe and McAfee and additional titles from Sage, F-Secure and Iris Software, plus 3,000 games titles from over 200 publishers.
Reed added: “Offering software in this way enables you to offer customers much more than you could otherwise. People are already used to downloading and activating software themselves, so this is very much the future. With Print to Receipt, we are now making it ever easier to attach sell business and games software.
“It is easy, convenient and low-cost – and it means you can maximise your attach sales as well as always offering a complete range of products - all with zero shipping, stock-holding or returns. That makes it simpler to do business and reduces costs significantly.”