In a move to accelerate growth of its B2B gift card offer, Kroger has expanded its partnership with Blackhawk Network to add Mastercard and Visa prepaid cards through the Velocity B2B Software as a Service platform. As the Mercator 2022 Outlook: Prepaid identified, the pandemic negatively impacted closed-loop sales. Solutions like the Kroger and Blackhawk Network agreement allow for Kroger’s non-retail customers to spur growth in their prepaid card business ,as highlighted in Progressive Grocer.
“While the B2B gift card market in the U.S. is already estimated to be nearly $30 billion , there is no doubt that there is still a lot of room to grow,” said Tom Boucher, head of Velocity B2B at Pleasanton, Calif.-based Blackhawk Network. “As more businesses make the switch from physical gifts to gift cards for promotions, rewards, incentives and even charitable distributions, an increasing number of organizations will look to sharpen their focus on capturing more of the rewards and incentives gift card space. Through our complete, comprehensive gift card solutions for business buyers, we’re helping merchants like Kroger stay ahead of the game.”
In addition to tapping into the B2B market with new products, the utilization of a SaaS platform and Visa and Mastercard branded cards allows both Kroger and the purchaser to reduce risks associated with utilization of prepaid cards while providing customer with the ability to customize orders in a high volume environment.
Overview by Jordan Hirschfield, Director of Research at Mercator Advisory Group