In 2001, Blackhawk Network disrupted the branded payments industry by creating a gift card category in grocery stores. At that time, the only way to purchase a merchant gift card was to visit that brand’s brick-and-mortar location. By bringing gift cards into grocery stores, we set a new standard for consumer convenience—and an opportunity for grocery stores to grow revenue from selling gift cards.
The very first in-store display started with just six cards, but the concept caught on quickly. Today, we feature over 1,000 brands in dining, entertainment, retail, home improvement and many other categories. Plus, we have developed our own exclusive gift cards that offer themed choices, such as Happy Dining, MAX Prepaid Cards and WaySpa gift cards.
As our vision of helping companies grow reach, loyalty and revenue using gift cards expanded, we started making strategic acquisitions that allowed us to seamlessly add additional services, including online gift card sales, international offerings, and B2B products and services.
In 2013, we held an IPO, trading under the symbol HAWK. This offering initiated a period of great growth. Having already acquired Retailo and InteliSpend, we also acquired Parago, Achievers, GiftCards.com, OmniCard.com, Didix, Grass Roots, CashStar, One4All and other thriving companies.
Innovation and disruption continue to propel Blackhawk Network forward. Not happy to rest on our laurels, we have invested in best-in-class solutions for commerce, incentive, employee, emerging payment and corporate solutions. And although gift cards continue to be at the heart of what we do, we see that they are more than just “a way to give a gift.” They are powerful revenue drivers in-store, online, in digital wallets, via social media and in app—they are, in fact, branded payments that can be leveraged in new and exciting ways.
After being acquired by Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners in 2018, Blackhawk Network returned to being a privately held company. We continue to invest every day in innovative ways to expand your opportunities to grow your business today and in the future with your branded payments.