“Consumers appreciate the versatility of gift cards to convert digital assets into real spending power,” Helena Mao, vice president, global strategy for payments at Blackhawk Network, said in the announcement. “Blackhawk is excited to launch this partnership with Bakkt and deliver on our commitment to innovative payment solutions that accelerate the growth of our partners and meet the demands of our customers.”
Blackhawk’s collection of eGift brands lets Bakkt users purchase, give and use digital gift cards for shopping via the Bakkt app. Gift cards from more than 60 companies, including PetSmart and DoorDash, will be available for purchase and peer-to-peer transfer in the Bakkt app. Bakkt’s network will fuel engagement for merchants, while enabling consumers to unleash spending power from their aggregated digital assets. The Bakkt app, which requires registration for use, provides retailers and loyalty program sponsors with more in-depth customer engagement and a decreased cost of payment acceptance.
“Today, consumers do not realize or leverage the real value of digital assets, including gift cards, due to the fragmented state of personal finance tools and services,” Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael said in the announcement. “Bakkt aims to provide the app, marketplace and payments infrastructure to make all digital assets transactable, and our partnership with Blackhawk Network is a significant part of enabling that flexibility and utility for consumers.”
The news comes as the pandemic is accelerating the shift to digital wallets. “As COVID-19 reshapes the perceptions and needs of digital payments, one of the significant shifts for our team here at Blackhawk Network has been working to further intensify the growth and adoption of digital payments and gifting, including the expansion of mobile wallets with our retail partners and consumers,” Brett Narlinger, head of global commerce for Blackhawk Network, previously said, as reported by PYMNTS.
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