Making Mobile Payments More Valuable: Blackhawk Network to Enable Merchant-Specific Value Added Services through Apple Pay

Blackhawk’s Digital Pass technology enables gift cards, egifts, loyalty cards and rewards programs to integrate with Apple Pay

PLEASANTON, Calif.Dec. 5, 2016 — Blackhawk Network—a pioneer of gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network—today announced it will integrate gift cards, egifts, loyalty and rewards programs into Apple Pay.

The technology will enable Blackhawk to serve as a digital pass provider for merchants. By adding these forms of branded value—or value added services (VAS)—into Apple Pay, consumers have the option to store, manage and make payments with gift and loyalty cards using their Apple Wallet, and retailers have the resources needed to make improved digital connections with shoppers.

“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. “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.”

According to a recent survey from Mercator Advisory Group, 53 percent of smartphone owners surveyed paid by mobile phone at checkout within the past year, and 61 percent used a mobile phone to pay for goods and services in stores four times or more in the past month.1 Additionally, third-party research of Apple Pay users found that 70 percent of those surveyed are more likely to choose a store that accepts Apple Pay.2

Retailers can continue to encourage mobile payment adoption, which speeds through-put and convenience, by providing more value to consumers through integration of branded value such as loyalty and gift cards.

“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. “We believe that the ease of our Apple Pay solution could also advance enrollment and use of loyalty programs for brands and merchants.”

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading global stored value and payments provider, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, telecom products, and financial services products in retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk’s digital platform enables the management of stored value products, promotions, and loyalty programs across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit or product websites Cardpool, Gift Card Lab, Gift Card Mall, and OmniCard.

1 The CustomerMonitor Survey Series is an online survey conducted by Mercator Advisory Group in June 2016. The sample size included 3,009 respondents.

2 Apple Pay Tracker research was conducted by Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG) in May–June 2015. ACG interviewed 500 iPhone users.

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