PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global branded payments provider Blackhawk Network (BHN) has partnered with Gift of College to expand the higher education funding platform’s digital gift card program with distribution at select digital retailers in the BHN US retailer network. One of the first platforms of its kind, Gift of College allows consumers to give a meaningful gift to family and friends by contributing to a 529 college savings, ABLE disability savings, or student loan account. Just in time for kindergarten-through-college graduation season, more gift-givers across the country will be able to leverage BHN’s eCommerce distribution network to send eGifts quickly and easily via online gift card retailers, including Giftcards.com, Giftcardmall.com, Kroger.com, Meijer.com, Topsmarkets.com and more.
“With the rising student loan debt and high cost of higher education, it can take a village to pay down debt or save for college,” said Wayne Weber, Gift of College CEO. “Gift of College gift cards are a quick and easy way for friends, family and even employers to contribute toward the cost of higher education for future and current students as well as graduates with student loans. Our partnership with BHN gives us the opportunity to significantly expand awareness and use of 529 plans to provide a path to education without the weight of unmanageable debt.”
In addition to the approaching graduation season, National 529 day is also celebrated each year on May 29, serving as a reminder that it has never been easier to help save for someone’s future. Millions of borrowers are struggling to repay nearly $2 trillion in student loan debt and an additional 74 million future students need help saving for higher learning to avoid or minimize educational debt1. With a Gift of College gift card, contributions can be gifted and redeemed into recipients’ 529 college savings, ABLE, or student loan accounts for a small purchase fee paid by the gift giver. As part of BHN’s Incentives portfolio, Gift of College also brings a new and unique benefit offering for employers to incent, attract and retain talent at a time when employee appreciation is more critical than ever.
“As we approach the time of year to celebrate the tremendous achievements of this year’s graduates, Gift of College offers shoppers a unique gifting option that has the familiar benefits of giving and receiving a gift card with the added gift of financial wellness,” said Steve Dekker, managing director, Americas, BHN. “This partnership allows us to add Gift of College gift cards to BHN’s digital channels as another in-demand option for customers looking for a unique way to celebrate or support their friends and family.”
Gift of College gift cards join BHN’s network of more than 9,000 brands connecting across approximately 400,000 channel touchpoints. BHN’s proven best practices, including merchandising, marketing, promotions and end-to-end support services also simplify program management and help maximize gift card program sales for retail card partners.
About Blackhawk Network (BHN)
Blackhawk Network (BHN) delivers branded payment solutions through the prepaid products, technologies and network that connect brands and people. We collaborate with our partners to innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty, and revenue. We reliably execute security-minded solutions worldwide. Join us as we shape the future of global branded payments. Learn more at blackhawknetwork.com.
About Gift of College
Gift of College helps U.S. families address one of their most critical concerns: paying for higher education. An innovative platform that facilitates crowdfunding for college, Gift of College enables friends, family, and employers to contribute to any 529 college savings, ABLE, or student loan account. Its suite of products and services includes Gift of College Gift Cards (available online and at thousands of retailer locations across the U.S.), Gift of College At-Work, an employee benefit platform offering payroll deduction and employer contribution technology for student loan repayment and college and disability savings, and a first-of-its-kind 529 plan disbursement card for payment of qualified higher education expenses.
Learn more at http://www.giftofcollege.com.
1 “Student Loan Debt Statistics” was published by EducationData.org on November 17, 2021.