Blackhawk Network, the gift cards, payments tools and rewards company, announced Wednesday (Dec. 8) that it will integrate gift cards, egifts, loyalty and rewards programs into Apple Pay.
In a press release, Blackhawk said the move will enable it to serve as a digital pass provider for merchants. By adding these services into Apple Pay, consumers have the option to store, manage and make payments with gift and loyalty cards using their Apple Wallet. What’s more, retailers have the resources needed to make improved digital connections with shoppers, Blackhawk said.
“Blackhawk is working with our vast partnership network to lead the digital transition of different forms of branded value such as gift cards, egift and loyalty,” said Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk Network, in the press release. “Through our partnership with Apple Pay, consumers will now be able to pay using prepaid or gift cards loaded into their Apple Wallet right on their iPhone or Apple Watch while simultaneously earning rewards and loyalty points at participating merchants through just a touch of their device. It’s a win-win for all involved.”
Blackhawk cited a recent survey from Mercator Advisory Group, which found 53 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile phones to pay at checkout within the past year, while 61 percent used a mobile phone to pay for goods and services in stores four times or more in the past month.
“The ability for a consumer to store all their loyalty programs in their mobile wallet along with any gift cards and checkout in one simple tap may be the impetus that digital wallets need,” said David Jones, general manager of global digital and eCommerce at Blackhawk Network, in the same press release. “We believe that the ease of our Apple Pay solution could also advance enrollment and use of loyalty programs for brands and merchants.”