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Gift Card Provider Blackhawk Network Going Private

GIFT CARDS… during the northern California fires in November 2017, it was gift cards that became the new cash. People needed goods and services, but non-profits like Heart Central, Catholic Charities and Volunteer Center didn’t want to hand out cash like an ATM. Their community wanted gift cards for gas, food and clothes. Thousands of people in Santa Rosa, CA and Sonoma County had lost everything. Imagine, no clothes – just pajamas, no shoes- just slippers, no purse, wallet, Rx, phone…. so many people ran for their lives when the fires switched directions. Survival can be tricky. Luckily MANY individuals, corporations and local companies came to the rescue.

Gift cards were easy to give to the needy, easy to track for charitable organizations and better for many reasons.

Looking for no-fee gift cards, with a possible matching supplement was a headache. It seemed simple, but was very difficult to get a regular bank to step up and process the cards.

It is with great interest I watch this buy-out. I wonder what will happen. I hope faster service, more options, more transfer ability and also the ability to combine gift cards. It would help our fire-ravaged Northern California community.

“Blackhawk is one of the largest third-party gift card distribution companies and as such plays a critical role as a market maker for connecting issuers of prepaid cards and prepaid digital assets with the outlets where these assets are purchased, which includes merchant locations such as supermarkets, online locations such as Amazon, and banks and incentive suppliers that purchase prepaid cards in bulk,” Tim Sloan, vice president of payments innovation at Maynard, Mass.-based Mercator Advisory Group Inc. tells Digital Transactions News by email. “The market for prepaid gift cards has matured, but continues to grow at a slower pace and has trended towards open-loop cards as retailers have announced store closings.”

Full article here.

The clean up and rebuilding in California will take years. With the catastrophic fires in Southern California added to the numbers of homeless and the low availability of rental space, any improvements in “cash like” disbursements would be  a big help.

“This transaction delivers immediate benefits and significant value to our stockholders,” says Blackhawk CEO Roche. (Image credit: Blackhawk Network Holdings)

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