Colin Munro and Richard Gray established Miconex in 2010 and have worked with ‘Place Managers’ (Town Centre Managers and Business Improvement District Managers) since 2011 on a variety of communication and loyalty projects. We have developed a real passion for this sector and we have a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Place Managers. In 2015 this led to us partnering with Scandinavian company Presend, to help establish local Mastercard-based currencies in the form of Town Centre Gift Card programmes. This is the only Town Centre Gift Card Programme currrently in the UK with the aim to lock in spend to the local economy and combat the effects of internet shopping and large retailers such as Amazon.
If you’re not too familiar with Miconex Gift Cards, you might be wondering what kind of town, city or area embraces the idea of a Gift Card that can be spent across a huge range of businesses. Well, it’s every kind!
Miconex Gift Card programmes have been put in place by towns, cities or areas which have extremely resilient high streets, as well as by those who are less resilient. Some cities are world-class tourist attractions; others are less well-known. They might be post-industrial towns rewriting their future, or bustling city centres full of national and local chains.
We use the existing Mastercard network to create local currencies for towns and cities in the form of local gift card programmes.
Miconex Gift Cards can be spent anywhere that has a Mastercard terminal, so that includes eating places, concert venues, beauty salons, sports and leisure facilities, estate agents and, yes, even dental surgeries! People who redeem gift cards on average spend 40% more than the value received. That increased spend is hugely beneficial to local businesses.
The family of Miconex Gift Card programmes, which saw its first launch in December 2015, has seen an upsurge in sign-ups, with the number of towns and cities in the list growing by 200% in the last 12 months.
2018 started with 10 live Gift Card programmes and ends with 30; it's been a busy year! It's also been interesting for everyone at Miconex, working with such a wide range of clients who represent over 6,000 businesses in all corners of the United Kingdom.
The Gift Card programme is such a simple concept, but it delivers real value for our clients and their business communities. It changes people's behaviour; when someone receives a Gift Card they need to look to see where to spend it, so it opens their eyes to what they have on their doorstep. Every Gift Card received is the start of a new journey as the recipient researches where to spend it, makes a trip into town, finds a new favourite business and quite possibly spends more money than they intended to!
It also encourages advocacy among consumers and within businesses. What better recommendation of a place is the giving of a town/city Gift Card?
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