Scottish fintech Miconex launches digital gifting product for towns and cities
Scottish fintech Miconex has launched a first of its kind digital gifting product for towns and cities, under its new global Love Local brand.
The digital gift card will work through the MasterCard network and digital wallet services such as Apple Pay, and is Miconex’s latest initiative alongside EML Payments Limited.
Miconex operates over 100 Town and City Gift Card programmes around the UK and Ireland, and Downtown Gift Card systems across North America, which unify a wide range of businesses behind a local gift card to create a secure, flexible gift and reward product for consumers and employers.
A Love Local app developed by the payments provider to accompany the new digital gift card will enable recipients to add the digital gift card balance to their Apple Wallet, or other digital wallet, view participating businesses, see their balance and spend online or in-store.
The Love Local brand will become an umbrella brand for Miconex’s Town and City Gift Card programmes in the UK and Ireland, with digital gift cards facilitated through the Love Local app.
Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex, said the Love Local brand was created for its universal appeal. He added: “The shop local sentiment is evident in our work with programmes in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US. Developing the Love Local brand allows us to convert that love local sentiment into spend, in a brand that will be as recognised and understood in Cambridge UK as Cambridge Canada.
“Theoretically, you could have your Downtown Gift Cards in your Love Local app alongside your Town and City Gift Cards. The Love Local brand also provides us with flexibility as we continue to develop new products for different use cases, and new tools for businesses and places to interact directly with an engaged consumer audience. The potential for Love Local is huge.”
A new Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, powered by Miconex and backed by the Scottish Government and Scotland’s Towns Partnerships, was announced in June.
Mr Munro said the introduction of digital gift cards was prompted by demand from towns and cities, and consumer trends. He added: “Working alongside our partners EML, MasterCard and Apple, we have created a cutting edge digital gift card product for towns and cities, breaking down the barriers that have previously existed and enabling places to have their own digital gift card for the first time. We listened to what our clients told us they wanted from their gift card programmes, whilst staying attuned to consumer trends.
“An estimated 1 in 3 adults are said to choose gifts based on how soon they can get them. For consumers, digital gift cards are instant, meaning they can send a last minute gift conveniently, whilst also supporting local businesses. The digital gift goes straight to the recipient. They receive a text or email, click on the link to download the Love Local app, then receive a code to add the balance to their digital wallet, making their purchase using their phone, or even their Apple watch. Ease of use for consumers is paramount, as is the trend towards mobile payments which is particularly pronounced in the UK.”
Miconex’s new digital gifting product will include a new pricing structure to make it accessible for towns and cities to adopt.
Mr Munro continued: “Miconex’s new pricing structure will allow local authorities and business improvement districts to phase their set up costs for their local gift card programme across 3 years, paid annually or monthly. The gift card market in the UK is worth an estimated £7 billion, £4.65bn from consumer sales and £2.34bn from rewards and incentives, and Christmas is one of the busiest times for gift card sales. Our mission is to help as many towns and cities as possible to convert the interest in gift cards, in digital, and in supporting local into spend, creating an unbeatable consumer proposition for their area.”