Blackhawk Network and Recharge Bring Gift Card Partnership to US

Blackhawk Networ, Brazil, cash, QR payments, gift cards

Branded payments providers Blackhawk Network and Recharge have expanded their gift card partnership.

The two companies have already been collaborating in Europe and have agreed to distribute gift cards digitally via Blackhawk’s network in the United States and Canada, according to a Tuesday (July 11) press release.

Blackhawk will now offer eGift and virtual prepaid card brands in Recharge’s digital marketplace, including merchant-specific cards, cards that can be used anywhere the network is accepted and Blackhawk’s multi-store eGifts, the release said.

“Gift and prepaid cards have become staples in the lives of consumers around the world, connecting shoppers with their favorite brands and allowing them to celebrate meaningful occasions with those they care about,” said Blackhawk Network Managing Director of the Americas Steve Dekker in the release. “In an increasingly globalized world, enabling cross-border gifting and money movement is more important than ever.”

The company has seen double-digital growth in eGift and eCommerce sales of gift cards during the most recent holiday season, according to the release.

However, the equivalent of $21 billion still sits on gift cards, waiting to be spent.

“If harnessed correctly, brands can use that ‘branded currency’ to unlock that value, engage and re-engage with customers, secure brand loyalty and uncover new audiences,” PYMNTS wrote last week. “And in today’s fast-paced business landscape, where consumer purchasing experiences are becoming increasingly streamlined, optimizing the transaction journey with future-fit efficiencies is imperative.”

In an interview with PYMNTS, David Metz, founder and CEO of AdTech company Prizeout, said digital gift cards have replaced what would normally be done using a debit card. Consumers pre-buy them for a week, get their bonus money and then re-up them based on their needs.

He said this repeat behavior is often seen when using gift cards and added that merchants see the value in digital gift card redemption to connect with consumers, especially as brands find themselves having to operate in an increasingly online world.

Metz added that what is so alluring about digital gift cards, is that the pre-loaded card itself represents a sale already recorded.

“When the consumer buys a digital gift card, the sale is over — the money is sent to the merchant,” he said. “It’s a 100% risk-free customer acquisition vehicle.”

For all PYMNTS retail coverage, subscribe to the daily Retail Newsletter.