Miconex rolls out digital gift card technology in Ireland

90% of the gift cards sold to date have been redeemed in local businesses
Life
Kelli Murphy with the Lakes Gift Card in Cong. Photo: Ray Ryan

22 December 2021

Miconex has rolled out its new digital gift card technology in Ireland in a bid to future proof the Irish high street.

Its new programme, the Lakes Gift Card, can be spent with over 100 businesses across Ballinrobe in Co. Mayo and Cong and Clonbur in Co. Galway. The e-card works though the Mastercard network, digital wallet services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, and the Love Local app.

Of the €250,000 worth of gift cards sold to date, 90% of that figure has been redeemed in local businesses.

 

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Ballinrobe was the first Irish town to introduce the digital gifting technology. Chairperson of the Ballinrobe Community Development Council Pat Donnellan said: “The Lakes Gift Card has been a great success for our area and we are very excited about the launch of the digital e-card version of the Lakes Gift Card. Talking to people of different age groups and they are already using digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. The introduction of the e-card is about meeting customer needs for the future. When the opportunity came up to use this new technology, it was a no-brainer for us, as it adds an extra dimension to the Lakes Gift Card.

“Many younger people in the Lakes area have received a Lakes Gift Card as a gift from family, or through work, but to use the physical card they have to remember to take it with them. With the e-card, they have the gift card balance with them on their phones, ready to use when they want it. Sales are important but redemptions are too because that is when the benefit reaches the business. Digital wallets will increase those spontaneous redemptions, especially with the Love Local app. This is data that we can then take to employers, showing how their rewards and incentives are welcomed and appreciated by staff.

“One year into our gift card programme and the new digital e-card will help us to build new awareness, keeping the Lakes Gift Card fresh in people’s minds. A lot of people who were previously working in Dublin are now working from home, and living more locally. These tech savvy individuals are conscious about the need to shop local, but it can’t be an obligation for them, we also have to make it convenient for them and as easy as shopping online. Our new digital Lakes Gift Card is a tool to make shop local work.”

A survey by AIB suggests that Irish customers’ use of digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay increased by 41% and 45% respectively in 2020. AIB also found that Apple Pay and Google Pay account for 37% of all instore transactions by under 25s, with spend up by 24% and 35% respectively. Customers aged 45 and over are spending 31% more using their digital wallets.

Miconex, which operates more than 70 gift card programmes across Ireland and the UK, has worked alongside EML Payments Limited on the introduction of the payment technology for Ireland.

Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex said: “The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges faced by Irish towns and cities. Encouraging consumers back to high streets, and making the high street attractive to consumers of all ages is a key focus for places. 

“The statistics are clear. By 2022, mobile payments will eclipse both cash and credit card as the preferred way to pay. And it is younger people who are leading this drive, with 48% of 18–34-year-olds using digital wallets. Interestingly, the GCVA also found that it was the younger cohort, 25–44-year-olds, who were most likely to view gift cards as a mutually beneficial means of funding local establishments. Towns and cities want smart solutions to future proofing their high streets, and that’s what digital gift cards offer.”

For more information, visit: https://townandcitygiftcards.ie/digital-gifting/

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