New Wicklow Currency app goes live

An app supporting local currency exclusive to Wicklow has gone live in recent days.

The app, known as VillagePod, supports a new local currency called “VillageCoin”, which is tied one for one with the euro.

The app is being supported by 60 local businesses.

VillagePod is a platform to help local communities thrive which puts local businesses right at the centre. The platform was conceived and developed as a result of a recognition that local businesses would benefit from a platform that champions them and addresses the technology and marketing disadvantage that many local businesses experience. The platform aims to help people make spending local a habit.

VillagePod founder, Cormac McKenna said – “We have been hugely encouraged by the strong take up of VillagePod from local businesses.  We started this journey when people told us that they really valued their local businesses and our mission is to help those businesses harness the goodwill that people already have for them. 

“These businesses are the fabric of our local communities and our team is excited to be able to support them.  We are also very happy to have received assistance from the Local Enterprise Office in Wicklow which has been key to our ability to launch the platform.”

The platform works by allowing consumers to top up the app from their bank accounts using a debit card and then pay with their smartphones. Retailers can accept payments from customers with a small tablet or even a phone. 

The platform already supports payments to retailers and will shortly also support payments from person to person.  It will also integrate loyalty and rewards features for retailers and digital gift cards which will allow retailers to sell gift cards from social networks like Instagram.

A core feature of the platform is the nomination by each retailer of a local ‘cause’ – such as a charity, sports club or school – which the retailer supports each time a consumer makes a purchase. Overall costs for business are similar to a typical charge for accepting a credit card.

Louise O’Neill, VillagePod Partnership Manager said “More local businesses are coming on board every day and we welcome all businesses wishing to take payments from the public to contact us and get started on VillagePod – it’s free to set up. The platform has been operational now for several weeks in test retailers.

“A big selling point for retailers is that we are bringing them a platform that up to now has only been available for larger businesses which make huge investments in IT and marketing. We’re making these capabilities easily accessible for smaller businesses in a way that resonates with the public.

“As well as prominent local ‘main street’ retailers, we’re also now seeing many small businesses such as physiotherapists that up to now only take cash payments adopting VillagePod instead of having to go to the hassle and expense of setting up with a credit card provider,” concluded O’Neill.

Greystones retailer Susan Collins, Home of Hair said – “VillagePod is a great way to bring a community together by encouraging people to support local small businesses. I am from Greystones and have been active in my community all my life but through VillagePod I am able to effortlessly give back and support Bray Women’s Refuge through the percentage that goes to my nominated charity.”

A list of some of the retailers support VillagePod:

Alter Me Alterations

Amphibian King

Arcade Jewellers

Bear Paw Delgany

Bear Paw Deli Theatre Lane

Bochelli

Box Burger

Brady’s of Greystones

Burrito Box

Butler & Barry

Café Grey

Camile Thai Restaurant

Cow Fish

Creole Food

Daata Greystones & Bray

Danns Bar

David Dodds Pharmacy

David Martin Hair Design

Dockyard 8

Doggy Wood Grooming

Dream Delights

Eleven Deli

Enso

Farrellys Butchers

Finnbees Coffee

Fiona Roche Pharmacy

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy

Four Front Games

Galito Tapas, Grill, Wine bar

Giulios

Halfway down the Stairs

Horse & Hound

House of Style

Ladies Work out Express

Lash Envy

Nature In

oHSo

O’Sullivans Bar

Platform Pizza

Powerscourt Arms Hotel

Purple House Charity

Rainforest Spa

Ripasso Bray

Saint Vincent De Paul

Spendlove Kitchen

Studio LR

Susan Collins Home of Hair

The Anchor

The Beach House

The Boatyard Gallery

The Burnaby Lounge

The Happy Pear Church Lane

The Happy Pear Shoreline

The Harbour Bar

The Hearing Clinic

The Parting Glass (Wine Shop)

The Village bookstore

Vanity Fur

YWCA Coolnagreina

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