Community card aims to boost local spending
An interoperable smart card is being launched designed to encourage people to spend more money within their local communities.
The Credit Union Branch in a Box community smart card system, launched by Wales-based smart card software company Augusta, will enable credit unions to interact with their members through a multitude of retail outlets based in local neighbourhoods.
The card has been adapted from a system applied by Augusta with one of Africa’s biggest banks across several remote areas of Africa.
Augusta has developed the system in partnership with payment solutions provider Ingenico.
It is based on NXP DESfire MIFARE technology and meets both EMV banking and LASSeO local authority specifications and frameworks. It will use the Ingenico EFT930 GContactless card wireless terminal.
The system allows credit unions to provide virtual branch capabilities through selected local traders, with the aim of increasing their coverage without the cost of opening branches.
Local traders will have a mechanism to reward loyalty with vouchers or discounts that encourage more shopping within local communities.
August says the cards are particularly cost-effective for transactions under £10, reducing the amount of money taken out of local economies in cash management fees and bank charges.
The cards can also be used for community services such as libraries, concessionary travel, discounted leisure facilities, pre-paid car parking and payment of benefits.
Augusta chairman Lord Erroll commented: “We want to help people feel a greater bond with the local community, with special privileges for local residents, while at the same time supporting activities such as banking, learning, travelling, work, leisure and benefits.”