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Company > Blackhawk Network Holdings: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Blackhawk Network Holdings: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Mar 19, 2023

Inside This Article


    Blackhawk Network Holdings is a leading global provider of innovative payment solutions, serving both consumers and businesses. This blog article aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the company's business model, SWOT analysis, and key competitors. By examining Blackhawk's unique approach to digital payments and its extensive network of partners, readers will gain insights into the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Additionally, a thorough examination of its competitors will shed light on the competitive landscape and help readers understand the position of Blackhawk Network Holdings in the market by 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Blackhawk Network Holdings and the significance of its ownership in relation to the company's operations and growth.
    • The mission statement of Blackhawk Network Holdings and how it guides the company's strategic decisions and objectives.
    • How Blackhawk Network Holdings generates revenue and sustains profitability through its business model, including an explanation of its key revenue streams.
    • An overview of Blackhawk Network Holdings' competitors in the market and the potential impact of their presence on the company's performance.
    • A SWOT analysis of Blackhawk Network Holdings, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the industry.

    Who owns Blackhawk Network Holdings?

    Overview of Blackhawk Network Holdings

    Blackhawk Network Holdings is a leading global provider of branded payment solutions. They offer a wide range of prepaid gift cards, digital payments, and incentives to consumers, businesses, and retailers. With their extensive network, Blackhawk enables the seamless exchange of value between brands and consumers.

    Ownership Structure

    Blackhawk Network Holdings is a publicly traded company, listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "HAWK." As of [insert date], the ownership of the company is as follows:

    • Institutional Investors: The majority of Blackhawk's ownership is held by institutional investors such as mutual funds, pension funds, and other investment firms. These investors are attracted to the company's strong market position and potential for growth in the payments industry.

    • Individual Shareholders: Individuals who purchase shares of Blackhawk Network Holdings on the stock market also contribute to the ownership of the company. These shareholders can include retail investors, employees, and executives who hold stock options or equity in the company.

    • Management Team: The management team, including the CEO and other top executives, may also hold a significant portion of the company's shares. Their ownership aligns their interests with those of the shareholders and reflects their confidence in the company's future prospects.

    Key Shareholders

    While the exact ownership percentages can fluctuate due to market dynamics, some of the key shareholders of Blackhawk Network Holdings include:

    • Investment Funds: Prominent investment funds like BlackRock, Vanguard Group, and Fidelity Management & Research Company are among the largest institutional shareholders of Blackhawk. These funds manage trillions of dollars in assets and often take long-term positions in companies they believe have growth potential.

    • Blackhawk Network Holdings Employees: Many employees of Blackhawk Network Holdings are also shareholders, either through stock options or direct purchases. This ownership structure fosters a sense of ownership and motivation among employees, aligning their interests with the company's success.

    • Private Equity Firms: In the past, Blackhawk Network Holdings had private equity firms as significant shareholders. These firms typically invest in companies to fuel growth and enhance operational efficiency. However, the specific private equity firms holding shares in Blackhawk Network Holdings may vary over time.


    As a publicly traded company, Blackhawk Network Holdings has a diverse ownership structure, with institutional investors, individual shareholders, and the management team holding significant stakes. This ownership mix reflects the company's attractiveness to both long-term investors and employees who believe in its potential. The presence of prominent investment funds and the participation of employees as shareholders highlight the confidence in Blackhawk's business model and growth prospects.

    What is the mission statement of Blackhawk Network Holdings?

    The Mission Statement of Blackhawk Network Holdings

    Blackhawk Network Holdings is a leading provider of branded payment solutions, delivering innovative prepaid products, technologies, and services to businesses and consumers around the world. The company's mission statement reflects its commitment to empowering people to achieve their goals and create meaningful connections through convenient and secure payment solutions.

    Blackhawk Network's mission statement is:

    "Enabling connections, empowering achievements."

    This concise yet powerful statement captures the essence of what the company strives to accomplish. By enabling connections, Blackhawk Network aims to bring together businesses, consumers, and communities through its diverse range of payment solutions. Whether it's through digital gift cards, prepaid cards, mobile wallets, or other innovative products, the company aims to facilitate seamless transactions and foster meaningful connections between individuals and businesses.

    Furthermore, the mission statement emphasizes Blackhawk Network's dedication to empowering achievements. The company understands that financial freedom and the ability to accomplish personal and professional goals are fundamental to individual success. Blackhawk Network's prepaid solutions provide individuals with the tools and resources they need to make purchases, manage their finances, and achieve their aspirations.

    In summary, Blackhawk Network's mission statement reflects its commitment to enabling connections and empowering achievements through its branded payment solutions. By providing convenient and secure payment options, the company aims to facilitate meaningful connections between individuals and businesses, while empowering individuals to accomplish their goals and dreams.

    How does Blackhawk Network Holdings make money?

    Selling prepaid products and gift cards

    One of the primary ways Blackhawk Network Holdings generates revenue is through the sale of prepaid products and gift cards. The company partners with various retailers, such as grocery stores, drugstores, and convenience stores, to distribute these products to consumers.

    Blackhawk offers a wide range of prepaid products, including prepaid debit cards, mobile top-ups, and prepaid wireless cards. These products allow consumers to conveniently manage their finances and make purchases without the need for a traditional bank account or credit card.

    Additionally, Blackhawk is a leading provider of gift cards, offering a vast selection from popular retailers, restaurants, and entertainment providers. With gift cards being a popular choice for gifting during holidays, birthdays, and special occasions, Blackhawk benefits from the steady demand for these products.

    Through strategic partnerships and distribution agreements, Blackhawk is able to provide a diverse range of prepaid products and gift cards to consumers, earning revenue through the sale of these items.

    Operating digital payment platforms

    Another significant source of revenue for Blackhawk Network Holdings is through its digital payment platforms. The company operates several platforms that facilitate digital payments, including prepaid mobile wallets, online payment systems, and virtual currency solutions.

    Blackhawk's digital payment platforms enable consumers to make secure and convenient transactions, such as paying bills, making online purchases, or transferring funds. By providing these services, Blackhawk earns revenue through transaction fees, interchange fees, and other transaction-related charges.

    Furthermore, the company partners with businesses to offer loyalty and rewards programs through its digital payment platforms. These programs incentivize consumer spending and drive customer engagement, creating additional revenue streams for Blackhawk.

    By leveraging its expertise in prepaid products and gift cards into the digital realm, Blackhawk Network Holdings has established itself as a key player in the digital payment space, contributing to its overall revenue growth.

    Blackhawk Network Holdings Business Model Canvas Explained


    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of the key elements of a business model. In this blog post, we will explore the Business Model Canvas of Blackhawk Network Holdings, a leading provider of branded payment solutions. By examining the different components of their business model, we can gain a better understanding of how Blackhawk Network Holdings operates and delivers value to its customers.

    Key Partnerships

    Blackhawk Network Holdings has built strong partnerships with various stakeholders to support its operations and enhance its offerings. These partnerships include collaborations with retailers, financial institutions, and technology providers. By working closely with these partners, Blackhawk Network Holdings is able to leverage their expertise, distribution networks, and customer base to expand its reach and deliver its payment solutions to a wider audience.

    Key Activities

    The key activities of Blackhawk Network Holdings revolve around the management and distribution of branded payment solutions. This includes the creation and customization of gift cards, digital rewards, and prepaid products. The company also focuses on building and maintaining relationships with its partners, managing its technology infrastructure, and providing excellent customer support. These activities are crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of the business and the delivery of high-quality services to its customers.

    Value Proposition

    Blackhawk Network Holdings offers a unique value proposition to its customers by providing a wide range of branded payment solutions. These solutions enable consumers to conveniently purchase, gift, or redeem digital and physical gift cards across various retail outlets. By offering a diverse selection of brands and retailers, Blackhawk Network Holdings ensures that its customers have access to a comprehensive catalog of options, enhancing their shopping experience and providing them with the flexibility to choose according to their preferences.

    Customer Segments

    Blackhawk Network Holdings serves two primary customer segments: consumers and businesses. For consumers, the company provides a platform to purchase and use gift cards, enabling them to enjoy the convenience and flexibility of digital payments. Businesses, on the other hand, can leverage Blackhawk Network Holdings' solutions to enhance their loyalty programs, incentivize employees, or provide customer rewards. By catering to these distinct customer segments, Blackhawk Network Holdings maximizes its market reach and diversifies its revenue streams.

    Revenue Streams

    Blackhawk Network Holdings generates revenue through multiple channels. The primary source of revenue is the distribution of branded payment solutions, where the company earns a commission or fee for each transaction. Additionally, the company generates revenue through licensing agreements, marketing services, and various other fees associated with the management and customization of its solutions. This diversified revenue model allows Blackhawk Network Holdings to monetize different aspects of its business and maintain a sustainable financial position.

    Key Resources

    To support its business activities, Blackhawk Network Holdings relies on a range of key resources. These include its technology infrastructure, which enables the secure management and distribution of its branded payment solutions. The company also relies on its partnerships with retailers and financial institutions to expand its product offerings and reach a wider customer base. Additionally, Blackhawk Network Holdings invests in its human resources, ensuring that it has a skilled and knowledgeable team to drive innovation and provide excellent customer service.


    The Business Model Canvas provides a holistic view of Blackhawk Network Holdings' operations and value proposition. By examining the different components of their business model, we can see how the company leverages partnerships, key activities, and resources to deliver its branded payment solutions to consumers and businesses. This analysis highlights the key factors contributing to the success of Blackhawk Network Holdings and underscores the importance of a well-defined and executed business model in achieving sustainable growth in the payments industry.

    Which companies are the competitors of Blackhawk Network Holdings?

    Competitors of Blackhawk Network Holdings

    Blackhawk Network Holdings operates in the prepaid and gift card industry, providing various solutions and services to businesses and consumers. While it holds a prominent position in the market, there are several notable competitors that also offer similar products and services. These competitors include:

    1. InComm: InComm is a leading prepaid product and transaction services company. It offers a wide range of prepaid products, including gift cards, wireless cards, and reloadable debit cards. InComm also provides innovative technology solutions to enhance the customer experience.

    2. Tango Card: Tango Card is a digital rewards and incentives provider that offers a comprehensive platform for businesses to manage and distribute gift cards. They specialize in delivering digital rewards through email, SMS, and API integrations, making it easy for companies to reward their employees and customers.

    3. CashStar: CashStar is a leading provider of digital gift card solutions. They enable businesses to create and distribute personalized digital gift cards that can be easily redeemed online or in-store. CashStar's platform also allows for easy management and tracking of gift card programs.

    4. National Gift Card: National Gift Card is a provider of prepaid gift card solutions for businesses. They offer a wide selection of gift cards from popular retailers, restaurants, and entertainment brands. National Gift Card provides convenient ordering and delivery options, making it a competitive choice for businesses looking to offer gift cards as rewards or incentives.

    5. Blackhawk Network subsidiaries: Blackhawk Network Holdings owns several subsidiaries that also compete in the prepaid and gift card industry. This includes Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, which specializes in employee incentives and consumer promotions, and Blackhawk B2B, which focuses on providing customized incentive and reward solutions for businesses.

    These competitors continually strive to innovate and offer unique solutions to businesses and consumers. While Blackhawk Network Holdings has a strong presence in the market, it faces competition from these companies in various segments of the prepaid and gift card industry.

    Blackhawk Network Holdings SWOT Analysis


    • Established Brand: Blackhawk Network Holdings has a strong and well-known brand name in the gift card and prepaid industry. This gives them a competitive advantage and helps attract customers and partners.

    • Extensive Network: The company has built an extensive network of retail partners, including major grocery stores, convenience stores, and online retailers. This wide distribution network allows them to reach a large customer base and increase their market share.

    • Diverse Product Portfolio: Blackhawk Network Holdings offers a wide range of prepaid products and services, including gift cards, prepaid debit cards, and mobile wallets. This diversity in their product portfolio helps them cater to different customer needs and preferences.

    • Technological Expertise: The company has invested in advanced technology platforms and digital solutions, enabling them to offer innovative and convenient payment options to their customers. Their technological expertise gives them a competitive edge in the industry.


    • Dependence on Retail Partners: Blackhawk Network Holdings heavily relies on its retail partners for distribution. This poses a risk as any changes in partnerships or conflicts with retailers could impact their market reach and revenue.

    • Vulnerability to Economic Conditions: The company's performance is closely tied to the overall economic conditions, as consumers tend to cut back on discretionary spending during periods of economic downturn. This makes them vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy.

    • Limited International Presence: While Blackhawk Network Holdings has a strong presence in the United States, their international operations are relatively limited. This restricts their growth opportunities in global markets and exposes them to potential competitors in other countries.


    • Growing Demand for Digital Payments: With the increasing adoption of digital payment methods, Blackhawk Network Holdings has an opportunity to expand its digital offerings and capture a larger market share. They can develop new partnerships and invest in technology to tap into this growing demand.

    • Expansion into Emerging Markets: The company can explore opportunities to expand into emerging markets where the prepaid industry is still growing. By entering these markets early, Blackhawk Network Holdings can establish a strong presence and gain a competitive advantage.

    • Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating with major technology companies or financial institutions can help Blackhawk Network Holdings expand its reach and offer innovative payment solutions. Such partnerships can provide access to new customer segments and enhance their overall competitiveness.


    • Intense Competition: The prepaid industry is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for market share. Blackhawk Network Holdings faces competition from both traditional financial institutions and emerging fintech startups. This increases the risk of losing customers and market share to competitors.

    • Regulatory Changes: The prepaid industry is subject to regulatory oversight, and changes in regulations can impact the company's operations and profitability. Compliance with evolving regulations can be costly and time-consuming for Blackhawk Network Holdings.

    • Security Concerns: As a provider of prepaid products and services, the company needs to ensure the security of customer data and transactions. Any data breaches or security incidents can shake customer trust and damage the company's reputation.

    Overall, conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis allows us to understand the internal strengths and weaknesses of Blackhawk Network Holdings, as well as external opportunities and threats in the market. This analysis will help guide strategic decision-making and identify areas for improvement and growth.

    Key Takeaways

    • Blackhawk Network Holdings is owned by Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners, private equity firms that acquired the company in 2018.
    • The mission statement of Blackhawk Network Holdings is to make everyday gifting and payment transactions simple, easy, and secure for both consumers and businesses.
    • Blackhawk Network Holdings makes money primarily through the sale and distribution of branded prepaid gift cards, digital payments, and incentives.
    • The Business Model Canvas of Blackhawk Network Holdings revolves around key activities such as securing partnerships with retailers, offering a wide range of gift card options, and providing secure payment solutions.
    • Competitors of Blackhawk Network Holdings include companies like InComm, National Gift Card, and Blackhawk's own subsidiary, Cardpool.

    SWOT Analysis of Blackhawk Network Holdings:

    • Strengths: Extensive network of retail partners, diverse product offerings, strong brand reputation.
    • Weaknesses: Dependence on partnerships for distribution, vulnerability to changes in consumer spending habits.
    • Opportunities: Growing market for digital payments, potential expansion into international markets, increasing demand for personalized gift cards.
    • Threats: Intense competition in the prepaid gift card industry, regulatory changes impacting the gift card market, potential security breaches affecting consumer trust.


    In conclusion, Blackhawk Network Holdings is a leading global provider of branded payment solutions. The company was founded in 2001 and is currently owned by Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners. Their mission statement is to connect brands and people through innovative payment solutions that drive engagement and enhance consumer loyalty.

    Blackhawk Network Holdings generates revenue through various channels, including the sale of gift cards, prepaid cards, and digital payments. Their diverse business model allows them to cater to both consumers and businesses, offering a range of products and services.

    Analyzing their business model canvas, we can see that Blackhawk Network Holdings focuses on key activities such as acquiring and managing retail relationships, developing innovative payment solutions, and providing exceptional customer service. Their strong partnerships with retailers and merchants enable them to distribute their branded payment products effectively.

    In terms of competition, Blackhawk Network Holdings faces competition from companies such as InComm, First Data Corporation, and PayPal Holdings. These competitors also operate in the branded payment solutions industry, offering similar products and services to businesses and consumers.

    Finally, conducting a SWOT analysis of Blackhawk Network Holdings reveals their strengths in their extensive retail network, innovative payment solutions, and strong brand recognition. However, they also face challenges such as regulatory changes in the payment industry and intense competition.

    Overall, Blackhawk Network Holdings has established itself as a prominent player in the branded payment solutions industry, continuously striving to meet the evolving needs of consumers and businesses alike. With a strong mission statement and a well-rounded business model, they are well-positioned for continued success in the future.


    How can I find a SWOT analysis on a company?

    There are several ways to find a SWOT analysis on a company:

    1. Company website: Start by visiting the company's official website. Many companies provide their own SWOT analysis in their annual reports, investor presentations, or corporate social responsibility reports. Look for sections such as "About Us," "Investor Relations," or "Company Overview."

    2. Business databases: Access reputable business databases such as Bloomberg, Hoovers, or MarketLine. These databases often contain SWOT analyses for various companies. You may need a subscription or access through a library to use these resources.

    3. Google search: Conduct a search using the company name followed by "SWOT analysis." For example, search "Apple SWOT analysis" or "Nike SWOT analysis." You will likely find various sources, including company websites, business journals, consulting firms, or market research reports that have analyzed the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    4. Market research reports: Many market research firms and consulting companies produce industry reports that include SWOT analyses for specific companies. Examples of such firms include PwC, McKinsey, Deloitte, or Gartner. Look for reports focused on the industry or sector in which the company operates.

    5. Business news websites: Check business news websites like Bloomberg, CNBC, or Forbes. Sometimes, they publish articles or analysis pieces that include SWOT analyses for specific companies.

    Remember that the quality and accuracy of SWOT analyses can vary, so it's important to consider multiple sources and critically evaluate the information you find.

    What is a SWOT analysis for a cyber security company?

    A SWOT analysis for a cyber security company would assess its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the context of the industry. Here is an example of a SWOT analysis for a cyber security company:


    1. Expertise and Knowledge: The company has a team of highly skilled professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in cyber security.
    2. Strong Reputation: The company has built a strong reputation for providing reliable and effective cyber security solutions.
    3. Advanced Technology: The company utilizes state-of-the-art technology and tools to offer cutting-edge solutions to clients.
    4. Wide Range of Services: The company offers a comprehensive range of cyber security services, including network security, data protection, vulnerability assessment, and incident response.


    1. Limited Market Reach: The company may have limited market reach and struggle to attract clients outside a specific geographic area.
    2. Dependency on Key Personnel: The company's success heavily relies on a few key personnel, which could pose a risk if they leave the company.
    3. High Costs: Providing top-notch cyber security solutions can be expensive, and the company may struggle to compete with lower-cost alternatives.


    1. Increasing Demand: With the growing frequency and complexity of cyber threats, there is an increasing demand for robust cyber security solutions.
    2. Expansion into New Markets: The company can explore opportunities to expand its services into new industries or geographic regions.
    3. Partnerships and Collaborations: Forming strategic partnerships or collaborations with complementary businesses can help the company enhance its offerings and expand its customer base.


    1. Intense Competition: The cyber security industry is highly competitive, and the company faces threats from established players as well as new entrants.
    2. Rapidly Evolving Technology: The constant evolution of technology presents challenges in keeping up with emerging threats and maintaining up-to-date solutions.
    3. Compliance and Regulatory Changes: Changes in regulations and compliance requirements may require the company to adapt its operations accordingly, which can be costly and time-consuming.

    It is important to note that the specifics of a SWOT analysis can vary depending on the specific company and its market conditions.

    What are SWOT analysis opportunities and threats?

    Opportunities and threats are two components of a SWOT analysis, which is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or organization. Here's a brief explanation of each:

    Opportunities: Opportunities refer to external factors or situations that can be advantageous for a business or organization. These are positive elements that can be leveraged to achieve goals or improve performance. Opportunities may arise from market trends, technological advancements, changes in consumer behavior, new partnerships or alliances, industry developments, or government policies. The identification and exploitation of opportunities can help a business gain a competitive edge and enhance its growth potential.

    Threats: Threats, on the other hand, are external factors or situations that can potentially harm a business or organization. These are negative elements that pose challenges or risks to the achievement of objectives. Threats can arise from competition, changes in regulations or laws, economic downturns, emerging technologies, shifts in consumer preferences, supplier issues, or any other factors that may impact the organization's operations or profitability. Identifying and preparing for threats allows a business to mitigate risks and develop strategies to overcome or minimize their potential impact.

    Both opportunities and threats are crucial considerations in a SWOT analysis as they provide insights into the external environment in which the organization operates. By understanding and effectively responding to opportunities and threats, businesses can make informed decisions and develop strategies that align with their strengths and weaknesses, ultimately leading to improved performance and success.

    Which company is good for SWOT analysis?

    There are several companies that are commonly used for SWOT analysis due to their large market presence and diverse operations. Some popular choices for SWOT analysis include:

    1. Apple Inc.: Known for its innovative products and strong brand image, Apple has a dominant position in the technology industry.

    2. Google (Alphabet Inc.): As a leading technology company, Google has a strong presence in search engine services, advertising, and software development.

    3. Microsoft Corporation: With a wide range of products and services, including Windows operating system and Office suite, Microsoft has a significant market share in the software industry.

    4. Coca-Cola Company: As a global beverage company, Coca-Cola has a strong brand portfolio and widespread distribution network, making it a suitable choice for SWOT analysis.

    5. Amazon.com Inc.: Known for its e-commerce platform, Amazon has expanded into various industries, including cloud computing, media streaming, and logistics.

    6. Tesla Inc.: A prominent electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla is known for its innovation, strong brand image, and commitment to sustainability.

    These companies are just a few examples, and the choice ultimately depends on the specific goals and context of the SWOT analysis.

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