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Blackhawk Network Launches Stockpile's "Gift Cards for Stock" at Select U.S. Retailers
Prepaid product provides access to the U.S. stock market

PLEASANTON, Calif., Oct. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackhawk Network, Inc., a leading prepaid and payments network, and Stockpile, Inc., the company that pioneered eGift Cards for stock, announced today that Stockpile's "Gift Cards for Stock" are available at select U.S. retailers. This prepaid gift card can be redeemed online to open and fund an account with stock. Consumers may buy the prepaid card as a gift for others or buy it for themselves.

Stockpile's gift card comes in fixed denominations of $25, $50 and $100. It may be redeemed for a variety of popular stocks or exchange traded funds (ETFs) such as the NASDAQ or S&P 500. When you redeem a Stockpile gift card and open a brokerage account, you get fractional shares of real stock that you choose.

"The Gift Card for Stock can revolutionize the way people access the stock market by providing gift cards in retail locations," said David Tate, Blackhawk Network senior vice president, products and marketing. "As a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards, the launch of the Gift Card for Stock was a natural advancement for Blackhawk Network. We're pleased to work with Stockpile to bring our network of retailers a brand new product category that promotes financial inclusion."

According to a September 2015 poll* of over 2,000 Americans over the age of 18 commissioned by Blackhawk, only 28 percent of American adults own stock.  Blackhawk's poll also found that 73 percent of millennials, between ages 18 to 34, do not own stock. They attribute the barriers to their participation in the stock market primarily to lack of knowledge about how to buy stock and limited investment budget. Despite these barriers, millennials are still interested in alternative ways to invest. Finally, Blackhawk's poll found that 54 percent of millenials would be interested in purchasing stock if it were as easy as buying a gift card in a grocery store or other retailer that could be redeemed online.

"Investing in the stock market can be an intimidating and confusing experience. We've made it accessible and easier," said Avi Lele, founder and CEO of Stockpile. "We're excited to work with Blackhawk to bring our Gift Cards for Stock to the market. We think it's a more personal, longer-lasting gift that helps people own shares in their favorite companies."

Gift Card for Stock is easy to use:

  1. Buy this prepaid card off the gift card rack at a participating retailer.
  2. Enter the claim code at stockpile.com.
  3. Sign up for a brokerage account and redeem for stock of your choice or a retailer gift card available at stockpile.com.

Gift Card for Stock is a gift card with a fixed value and is not a stock or other security or a recommendation to buy any specific stock or other security. Securities transactions are executed by Stockpile Investments, Inc., SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Gift Card for Stock is issued by Stockpile Gifts, Inc.

"As we approach the holiday season, we think Gift Cards for Stock will appeal to consumers who want to give something more meaningful. This is a great gift to teach someone about investing or dip your toe in the market for the first time," said Tate.

Stockpile's Gift Card for Stock is distributed by Blackhawk Network. Here are the first stores to have the gift cards available:

  • Kmart
  • Buehler's Fresh Foods (all locations in Ohio)
  • Giant Eagle and Market District (all locations in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Indiana)
  • Safeway (18 locations in Seattle, Wash.)
  • Wegmans Food Markets (all locations in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia)

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk's digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com.

About Stockpile
Stockpile is revolutionizing the investment world by making the purchase of stock as easy as buying a gallon of milk. Stockpile Gift Cards—now available at major grocery stores and retailers in addition to online—can be redeemed for stock in your favorite companies. Buy them for yourself or give them to friends and family of any age with no account minimum. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Stockpile promotes financial inclusion, empowerment, and literacy by enabling access for all to the financial markets. To learn more about this convenient and delightful way to invest, visit www.stockpile.com.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to the Stockpile's Gift Cards, including the risk arising from consumer and corporate preferences and demand towards the Stockpile's Gift Cards, Blackhawk's dependence upon retail distribution partners to distribute Stockpile's Gift Cards and Blackhawk's reliance on Stockpile for the service offerings of Stockpile's Gift Cards. The statements contained in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words such as, but not limited to, "anticipate," "believe," "can," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "seek," "should," "target," "will," "would," "on track" and similar expressions or variations intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of Blackhawk's management based on information currently available to management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified in the "Risk Factors" section in Blackhawk's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, Blackhawk undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.

*These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Blackhawk Network, fielded September 17th–21st, 2015. For the survey, a sample of 2,013 U.S. adults over the age of 18 was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents.

The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, region and household income based on Census data. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding.

CONTACT:
Amanda Meyer
amanda@fletchergroupllc.com
303-525-0520

 

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SOURCE Blackhawk Network