Without a doubt, the advent of beautiful papiers has made it easier to produce gorgeous gift cards quickly. I am not singling it out as the most exceptional catalyst, but it would be in my Top 5.
As a card maker; stamper, embosser, puncher, from the early 1990's, I have seen the emergence of so many approaches to card making, all of which have their place on Card-making's growth timeline. But I do remember in the early days scratching around for gorgeous papiers to complement the cards. Resorting to making my own, either on the computer or by attaching fabric to papier (with spray adhesive), in desperate attempts to reproduce the images appearing in my mind.
Now we can buy exquisitely printed papiers, helpfully bundled into books and booklets (measuring 30x30cm, 20x20cm or 15x15cm), decorated with an array of prints and patterns that all match. All the better to speed up the process my dear.