Blackhawk Network Selected by the State of California to Provide $100M in Digital Incentive Cards


Cards will be disbursed as part of the new ‘You Call the Shot California’ program aimed at encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations

PLEASANTON, Calif. – June 2, 2021 –  The State of California has launched its "You Call the Shot California” program, which encourages residents to begin and complete the COVID-19 vaccination process before the state plans to fully reopen on June 15. The first 2 million eligible Californians to start and finish the vaccination process will be given a choice of a $50 digital incentive disbursed by global payments provider and incentives leader Blackhawk Network.

The $100M program is one of the first of its kind in the US. Leveraging incentives provides recipients with popular rewards they will receive soon after earning—while helping drive flexible spending that contributes to the state’s economy.

“We recently conducted research1 that found monetary incentives—even modest ones—could be an effective option for encouraging vaccine adoption. Our data also showed that monetary incentives could inspire half of respondents to encourage their family members to get vaccinated,” said Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk Network, a global payments provider. “The digital payment solutions we are providing to the State of California give Californians choice in incentives, more than one way to redeem and are available quickly.”

Prepaid and gift cards have been critical in helping government agencies and nonprofits distribute relief during the pandemic and other emergency scenarios. In the last 12 months alone, Blackhawk’s US disaster disbursements have grown by an astounding 90% as demand for relief has skyrocketed.

Once Californians have completed the COVID vaccination process and the state confirms completion, it will deliver a redemption code for the incentive card via email or text message. Recipients generally will receive their incentive card within 48 hours of redeeming the code. Incentive card options include the choice of a $50 digital gift card for Albertsons (which includes Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Andronico's Community Markets and Pavilions), Kroger (which includes Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Foods Co.), or a Virtual Prepaid Card. The Virtual Prepaid Card can be spent online or if added to a mobile wallet, used to shop in stores that accept mobile wallets and major debit cards.

Blackhawk Network is one of the top issuers of physical and digital gift and prepaid cards. Its suite of options can be customized and used to distribute aid, disbursements and incentives rapidly and more efficiently than other payment methods like checks. No bank account is required, benefitting unbanked and underbanked communities. Learn more about placing prepaid and gift card orders to deliver aid and incentives quickly by clicking here.

For more information on You Call The Shot California, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win/.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network delivers branded payment solutions through the prepaid products, technologies and network that connect brands and people. We collaborate with our partners to innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty and revenue. We reliably execute security-minded solutions worldwide. Join us as we shape the future of global branded payments. Learn more at blackhawknetwork.com.


1 The “COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives” report is based on the combined findings of two internet-based surveys conducted by Survey Monkey on behalf of Blackhawk Network January 15–17, 2021. The sample size for the government incentives study included 1,005 U.S. respondents ages 18+ and the sample size for the employer incentives study included 1,105 U.S. respondents ages 18+.

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