Mi Rewards: the first card-linked, city-wide loyalty scheme. Hereâ€™s how it works
In 2018 we launched Mi Rewards, the cardless, city-wide loyalty scheme, in Perth. Itâ€™s the first UK scheme to offer rewards that can be earned and spent across a town or city.
Mi Rewards is unique: consumers donâ€™t need a loyalty card or app. They link their payment cards to the programme and, when they spend in participating businesses, they are automatically rewarded.
Over 2600 consumers and 60+ businesses have signed up. So how and why did we develop Mi Rewards?
Miconexhave nearly a decade of experience working with UK towns and cities on digital communication and local currency programmes. We manage a successful Gift Card programmeÂ withÂ Perth & Kinross Counciland weâ€™ve helped nearly 30 other cities and regionsto replicate this model.
Next we wanted to add a town/city rewards scheme, to:
- encourage shopping in the city;
- stimulate additional spend;
- better understand and communicate with customers;
- develop new consumer communication channels;
- measure the impact of events, marketing and planning decisions.
The main issue with traditional town and city loyalty programmes is that the consumer has needed to identify themselves at the point of sale. This means that either all staff in all the businesses require training or that additional hardware/software is required (expensive and unwelcome). We had to remove this friction.
Following extensive research, we concluded that payment-card-linked technology would remove the barriers.Â We partnered withÂ Stampfeet, Perth and Kinross Councilâ€™s City Centre Management Team and a steering group of Perth businesses.
â€œStampfeet has vast experience with card-linking technology, and our flexible loyalty platform supports the requirements of a city-wide scheme. We were excited about delivering an excellent product with a great vision.â€
Asaf Rozin, Stampfeet CEO
Our proposition provides a frictionless solution:
- Automatically rewardsparticipating customers;
- No joining fee;
- No staff training, additional hardware/software;
- Cost to business is 1% of qualifying transactions;
- Points are converted intoÂ Perth Gift Cards.
This is highly attractive for consumers and businesses.Â Once they have registered for the programme the rest of it works automatically. We reward our customers just as Tesco and Nectar do â€“ but without a loyalty card. Mi Rewards and the businesses benefit from data insights into consumer behaviour; we are essentially creating a â€œsingle viewâ€ of a consumer across a whole network of businesses.
â€œMi Rewards allows Place Managers to better understand how people engage with towns and cities and how we can adapt to satisfy evolving consumer preferences. We can improve residentsâ€™ experiences and the local economy.â€
Leigh Brown, Chair of theÂ Association of Town and City ManagementÂ and City Centre Manager at Perth & Kinross Council
â€œI love that Mi Rewards encourages people to shop locally. And it doesnâ€™t pitch one business against another but rewards customers for shopping with us all.â€
Dawn Cotton Fuge, owner of Precious Sparkle
We now have 2600 Mi Rewards users (1400 of those have linked at least one payment card). Weâ€™ve tracked over Â£100,000 of local spend to date, gaining powerful insights into retail trends. To engage customers further, we introduced â€œPoints, Perks & Prizesâ€, where they earn points, win prizes or get perks, e.g. exclusive discounts and offers.
How it works
BecauseÂ Mi RewardsÂ is cardless and requires no additional software, hardware or training, itâ€™s easy to use. Consumers register at Mi Rewardsand link their payment card(s). Businesses register atÂ Mi Rewards Business. Shoppers are rewarded with pre-loaded credit cards (e.g. a Miconex Gift Card) to spend in registered businesses.
Weâ€™ve recently partnered withÂ Stagecoach GroupÂ to offer Mi Rewards to bus users. We will also shortly introduce mobility tracking apps which will reward people for walking/cycling into the city centre.
Mi Rewardsallows us to communicate more effectively with consumers, gain insights, reward loyalty and encourage healthier living. Weâ€™re in discussions with many towns and cities about the UK/Ireland programme rollout. We believe that Mi Rewardsis the future of town/city loyalty.
Colin Munro, Managing Director, Miconex