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Blackhawk Network Wins Best-in-Category in Ninth Annual Paybefore Awards
Reloadit Safe Wins for Top Digital Dollars

PLEASANTON, Calif., March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackhawk Network, a leading prepaid and payments network, announced that one of its prepaid programs has earned top recognition from the prestigious Paybefore Awards. Paybefore has selected Blackhawk's Reloadit Safe as its Best-in-Category in the Top Digital Dollars category. For nine years, Paybefore Awards has conferred the most prestigious recognition of excellence in the worldwide prepaid, mobile and emerging payments industry. The awards are presented annually by Paybefore, whose publications are the leading source of industry information for emerging payments executives.

"We are ecstatic to be recognized for the innovations we've brought to the prepaid market," said Teri Llach, CMO at Blackhawk Network. "This award is a testament to our customers-first mantra and the innovative solutions we continuously develop for our prepaid customers."

The Reloadit Safe, accessible through the Reloadit secure online site, facilitates the electronic storage of funds associated with Reloadit Packs.  Consumers store their Reloadit Packs using the Safe, which in turn, provides added security and increased functionality. The main innovation is the Reloadit Safe's off-the-shelf payment capabilities. Users not only have the ability to load a wide variety of GPR cards but also can pay bills for approximately 10,000 different billers without using a payment card at all.  Standard payments are processed within two business days.

"This year's Paybefore Awards have demonstrated once again that payments companies are committed to driving out the inefficiencies of cash and checks, while also increasing value for clients and end users," said Loraine DeBonis, Paybefore editor-in-chief and chair of the judging panel. "We're proud to recognize Blackhawk Network's contributions towards advancing electronic payments and financial services."

The Best-in-Category results were tallied from the votes of three outside judges—Lori Breitzke, E&S Consulting; Rob Rosenblatt, R2 Payments Associates; Michael Mueller, angel investor and co-founder of paysafecard—as well as DeBonis and Paybefore CEO Marilyn Bochicchio. For the third year, Paybefore invited visitors from Paybefore.com to weigh in on Best-in-Category in Sixth Judge voting. Participation shattered past records, with a remarkable tally of more than 21,200 votes, which supported the judges or swayed the final outcome in 16 categories.

"Some may think there's nothing new in the world of payments, but the outstanding winners in Paybefore Awards prove that's not so," added Marilyn Bochicchio, Paybefore's CEO. "Emerging payments is packed with opportunity to make a difference for consumers, governments and businesses. And, the companies and programs we recognize through Paybefore Awards are outstanding examples of what can be done when creativity intersects with technology and a deep understanding of unmet needs. We tip our hats to the winners and all those who are making a difference."

About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK and HAWKB) 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 Paybefore 

Paybefore is the leading information provider to prepaid, mobile and emerging payments industry professionals, offering the latest news, commentary and analysis. Paybefore's family of industry publications includes: Paybefore.com; Pay NewsTM; Pay GovTM; Pay WeekTM; Pay Op-EdTM; Pay MagazineTM, a biannual print publication featuring in-depth articles on the opportunities, challenges and trends in the global payments industry; and the only industry directory, Pay ConnectTM buyer's guide, available online and in print. Visit us at www.paybefore.com.

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SOURCE Blackhawk Network

Chris Prouty, 1-213-405-3797, cprouty@mww.com