Mi Rewards, the town and city loyalty programme from Scottish fintech Miconex is expanding across the UK with launches in Guildford, Fleet, Stoke-on-Trent, Barnsley and Enniskillen.
Customers register with Mi Rewards, link their existing payment cards, and receive rewards every time they use their payment card in a participating local business, without the need for a separate loyalty card. The loyalty programme is designed to encourage customers to shop locally and show loyalty to their local area.
Miconex revamped its Mi Rewards programme in September with a prize focused Spend Local Win Big campaign, making it the first free for business town and city loyalty programme in the UK. The fintech are also behind the popular Town and City Gift Cards scheme, which operates in over 50 areas of the UK.
Mi Rewards launched in Perth in 2018 and over £650,000 has been spent through the loyalty programme since then. Towns and cities incentivise customers with prizes to showcase the best of their area such as luxury hampers, local gift cards or event tickets. Customers are automatically entered into the draw to win that month’s prize in their town when they earn 10 points, equivalent to spending £10.
Guildford launched its Mi Rewards programme in October. Amanda Masters, CEO of Experience Guildford commented:
“Similar to towns around the UK, it has been a tough year for our businesses and we needed to support them in a tangible way. We have an eclectic mix of businesses including a strong independent business community. Our businesses are the lifeblood of our town and they have been really positive about the introduction of Mi Rewards, which is completely free for them and their customers.
“Once they are registered with Mi Rewards, customers can come into town to shop without having to remember a loyalty card. Guildford would normally have a Christmas voucher book but with the difficult trading conditions this year, it didn’t feel right to ask traders to offer a discount. Footfall is gradually increasing and with Mi Rewards we can encourage customers to spend locally and loyally.”
Fleet in Hampshire is launching its Mi Rewards programme in November. Tracey Shrimpton BID manager at Fleet Business Improvement District said the introduction of the scheme followed research with Fleet residents:
“We knew people were visiting Fleet high street less than before lockdown but from the research we found that 76% were looking forward to getting back to shopping on the high street and 70% were more likely to shop locally. We spent many months searching for the right loyalty solution for the town, including investigating the possibility of developing our own app. The simplicity of Mi Rewards is ideal; there are no costs for businesses, they can get involved with very little effort and staff need no training.
“When it comes to high street recovery, the only measure that really counts is sales. The response to the introduction of Mi Rewards has been strong. One of the benefits of the scheme is the data that it will generate which we can share with our businesses to help them to refine their marketing activity and better understand their customers.
“In the future, we plan to include prizes that are experienced based like a meal out or a makeover, but our launch prize will be a luxury Christmas hamper stocked with goodies. Fleet, located in the Hart district of Hampshire, has been voted one of the best places to live and consistently tops quality of life surveys. People are very passionate about their town, and with Mi Rewards they can show their support for Fleet and our local businesses.”
Stoke-on-Trent is also launching a Mi Rewards programme in November and a variety of businesses including shops, cafes and bars have signed up to reward their customers through the scheme. Stoke City Football Club and the new Hilton Garden Inn are amongst the ‘experiences’ customers can earn rewards from with Mi Rewards.
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and believes the Mi Rewards technology can help towns and cities to prosper:
“As a former restaurateur, I know the demands of running a business but the strains placed upon shops and services in 2020 are beyond anything we’ve seen before. As a business you capture data every time you transact with a customer, but we now have the technology to join up this data in an insightful way for a richer understanding of consumer behaviour. Towns and cities asked for a simple solution to the loyalty conundrum, and with Mi Rewards, that is what we are delivering. It’s time for towns and cities to get smart and join together to reward customers.”