Aug 31, 2023

Blackhawk Network (BHN) Collaborates with Visa to Launch First-of-its-Kind Global Environmental Sustainability Initiative

Beginning this fall, Visa open-loop prepaid cards supplied by BHN to third party retail networks will be transitioned from plastic to sustainable paper-based materials

PLEASANTON, Calif. – September 6, 2023 – As part of its ongoing initiatives aimed to positively impact the environment at a global level, branded payments provider Blackhawk Network (BHN) is working alongside Visa to transition its network branded prepaid products distributed by third party retail networks from plastic to paper-based materials. The initiative will roll out in the US, Canada and Australia later this year. Converting to sustainable materials has the potential to impact over 350 million open loop and multi-branded products produced by BHN and up to another 700M third party cards as BHN works to get nearly all content converted to sustainable materials. This shift to more eco-friendly products benefits the planet with minimal disruption to merchants, issuers, brands, and consumers, as paper-based products still offer the convenience and reliability of shopping where Visa is accepted.

BHN has offered an array of eco-friendly, paper-based and recycled products since 2017, and with the support of global networks like Visa, BHN will expand its efforts on an accelerated and broader scale. This announcement delivers on BHN’s 2022 pledge to convert the majority of its own products to paper substrates by the end of this year, and to encourage and support its card partners in converting their own plastic products to paper substrates by the end of 2024. BHN is the first in its industry to gain broad approval from global networks and commit to such a significant environmental program.

“Our mission is to lead the prepaid and gift card industry’s shift from plastic to more sustainable and responsibly sourced materials—and we’re delivering. Collaborating with influential brands like Visa is helping us create a more sustainable payment card market,” said Talbott Roche, CEO and president of BHN. “Thanks to our vast network, we are in a unique position to pioneer change by reducing our global footprint and creating a roadmap for others to follow—while doing the right thing for our partners, customers and the Earth. As a go-to partner for the largest brands in the world, we understand the importance of thoughtfully managing our role in the industry’s supply chain, and it's our responsibility to reduce the environmental impact of the products we produce and distribute across the world. We hope more industry stakeholders join us in our ongoing efforts.”

BHN’s initiative to transition to paper-based open-loop prepaid cards would not be possible without an enthusiastic partner that also proactively explores opportunities to protect and preserve the planet.

“Visa is committed to operating as a sustainable, responsible business,” said Douglas Sabo, Chief Sustainability Officer at Visa. “In addition to our own ongoing initiatives, joining BHN in its sustainability efforts is a way we can join forces for a greater collective good. We recognize that together with our partners we can achieve our goal of being an engine of sustainable commerce—including through sustainable payment cards.”

In addition to transitioning to paper-based and sustainable card products, BHN is also continuing to innovate with its digital card offerings to further lessen the demand for plastic-based cards—positively impacting the planet while also acting as powerful symbols of change that meet consumers’ increasing preference for digital payments, rewards and more.

About Blackhawk Network (BHN)

Blackhawk Network (BHN) is the leader in global branded payment technologies. We strengthen relationships between brands and their customers, employees, and partners by transforming transactions into connections. BHN’s portfolio includes: Gift Card & eGift products, promotions and distribution that grow revenue faster; Rewards & Incentives that build loyalty and acquisition and are integrated into today’s leading platforms; and Payments that enable businesses and customers to access and disburse funds in convenient and innovative ways. BHN’s network spans across the globe with over 400,000 consumer touchpoints. Learn more at