Prepaid card mall operator Blackhawk Network, Inc. announced on Sept. 20 that is has signed a distribution agreement with NetSpend Corp. to sell NetSpend’s general purpose reloadable prepaid cards in more than 3,000 stores, including stores owned by Safeway, Blackhawk’s corporate parent.
Beginning in November 2011, Blackhawk Network plans to begin selling NetSpend Visa(R) prepaid cards at more than 3,000 retail locations within its prepaid network, including 1,425 U.S. Safeway stores and other locations.
NetSpend cards can already be reloaded with the reload card the Blackhawk sells for its own PayPower card. The NetSpend agreement is an interesting one because it puts a competitive product to Blackhawk’s own general purpose card on Blackhawk racks. Whether this move is designed to show that Blackhawk will not close its doors to other products or is part of a larger GPR play remains to be seen.