The Kroger Co. has expanded its longtime partnership with worldwide branded payments provider Blackhawk Network to offer Mastercard and Visa bulk prepaid cards through Blackhawk’s software-as-a-service-based Velocity B2B end-to-end gift card services. The new offering will help Kroger ramp up its growth in the B2B gift card space by giving businesses an effective way to reward or incentivize employees, and providing further options for organizations that want to help those in need.
“With the overall growth in demand for gift cards over the last year, the business-to-business gift card market represents a tremendous growth opportunity for our business, and we’re always looking for additional ways to enhance our offerings,” observed Kate Ward, president, Kroger Personal Finance. “By adding Mastercard and Visa prepaid cards to our corporate gift card program, we’ve been able to offer our existing B2B partners more choice while also extending our ability to sell to additional customers, including more charity partners that look to our bulk gift card offerings for an easy way to make a big impact.”
Suitable for businesses and charities, Kroger’s Mastercard and Visa prepaid cards can be used where Mastercard and Visa are accepted, in store or online. Once an organization is approved, ordering is easy and customizable. Available gift card denominations range from $20 to $500, and the cards can be delivered to recipients when and how companies want, anywhere in the United states. The gift cards are issued by the U.S. Bank National Association in accordance with a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. or Mastercard International, and can be used only in the United States.
“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.”
Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.