Blackhawk President: The Coming Year Will Be Breakout Year for Digital Cards

by Ben Jackson 0

Pos terminal confirms the payment by smartphone. Vector illustration in flat design on green background. nfc payments concept

Digital cards will find their place in the payments world in 2016, said Talbott Roche, president of Blackhawk Network in an interview with

“Digital is something we’ve been passionate about for the past four or five years but it’s really coming into its own in 2015-16,” says Roche. “I think we all suspected that mobile wallets would be a lot further along than they are right now but we’ve had a lot of success – not just in that environment but maybe even more so in the in the B2B market.”

Roche said that incentives and rewards are good markets for virtual cards because consumers don’t mind receiving them digitally.

Change in payments is an “evolutionary rather than a revolutionary path” because of the number of players involved in making payments happen, Roche said. This is why it has taken digital cards longer to catch on than some industry observers expected.

Gifting has a different psychology, and so physical cards will likely still have a role to play in that market for a long time to come. But as people rely more and more on digital forms of payment, it will be necessary for issuers of all kinds to have ways to connect with mobile wallets and enable digital payments that can be used in a variety of channels.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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