When I hear about ‘advances in digital technology’ I have to admit, I tend to get over-excited. Think playful puppy meets Kim K on a shopping spree. However, in more recent years this simple phrase has been as much foe as it has friend.
I'll explain. Yes, I’m delighted to have every song I've ever danced to, streaming from my phone into a cool-looking speaker. But my current addiction to ‘word cookies’, and that that scolding red light on the Smart meter when I plug in the straightners, are things I’d rather do without.
The key difference – and arguably a huge benefit - is that you don’t need to carry an additional card.So when I heard about the new technology employed by Miconex, - Perth’s digital whizzkids who brought you the Perth Gift Card - that allows shoppers to collect loyalty points at a whole load of Perth’s favourite Perth Indies, I was somewhat wary. How can they do that? Why has no one done it before? Will they really give me a free tenner? Will I need to sign away my first born?
For everyone asking themselves these same questions – or if you’ve not yet heard about how to collect points while you shop with registered Perth Independent Retailers - then read on!
The premise is really simple, operating much like other loyalty schemes you may already be part of. You collect points as you shop with participating businesses, and once you reach a certain level (in this case, 1000 mi-reward points) you can convert them to a Perth Gift Card which lets you spend £10 on anything you choose from the 54 businesses registered.
The key difference – and arguably a huge benefit - is that you don’t need to carry an additional card. You simply register your own debit or credit card (as many as you like) and you can start to collect mi-points. You are also instantly eligible for local rewards which to date have included some really fun, money-can’t-buy stuff such as 50% off Boating On The Tay and a pass to skip the queue at the Monster Maze during the city’s Hallowe’en Festival.
The biggest selling point in my opinion though, is that it rewards you for shopping with local, indie businesses; retailers such as Tayberry Gallery and Fun Junction, and really great family activity providers such as Perth Leisure Pool. There are 54 shops, restaurants, cafes and attractions already signed up, and the technology used means that the opportunity for others to join is limitless!
In addition, they have also partnered with Stagecoach Group to offer Mi Rewards to bus users. Anyone registered with the programme can earn points when they pay using their registered card on the buses, as well as when they buy tickets online or using the app. This latest addition not only gives you a truly whole-city rewards programme, but by encouraging bus travel the mi-team hope to do their bit in making the city greener.
It really is as straight-forward as it sounds. Click on over to their website, enter your details – including registering your bank card, more on that later – and that’s you! You can start collecting mi-reward points straight away, and they'll begin to appear in your profile within seven days tops. You won’t be charged at time of registration or at a later date, as it’s an entirely free scheme designed simply to encourage us all to shop more regularly with our favourite indies. Worth noting, I think, that it is paid for via the participating businesses.
You can also sign up to notifications that allow you to receive members' benefits; given that it's likely to take a while for your points to start building, these really are the ‘immediate’ perk. At the moment there’s a chance to win a £500 Perth Gift Card and to earn bonus Mi-Points by using Broxden Park and Ride.
Other bonus perks arrive just in time for the weekend, each and every Friday – keep an eye on the Facebook page for the announcement and on your email to find out how to redeem – and have included a 2-for-1 deal on a cooked breakfast at Willows, discount on Paddleboarding at Willowgate, 20% off of your bill at Tabla Indian Restaurant and this week, 2-for-1 lunches at The Salutation Hotel.
Isn't this the biggest question of our age – what about my data? I spoke to Colin Munro, MD at Miconex to quiz him on just how safe his system is. Here’s what he had to say:
“We explored lots of different ways that people could collect points but the most efficient way was to use the existing Mastercard and Visa network. It means that businesses can very easily participate and people don’t need to remember to carry a card or show an app.
We don’t actually store the card details; it’s completely secure. Once the card is registered with the programme we receive a notification from the card provider which enables us to reward people with the points.
Isn't this the biggest question of our age – what about my data?This means that you’re no more at risk signing up with Mi-Rewards than you would be buying a jumper online or using your Tesco Clubcard and debit card in one transaction!
In layman’s terms, your card supplier will receive a notification that your card has been used in a participating shop which will then allow them to tell us that you are due Mi Points for your purchase. As the saying goes; “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.”
So, the need to know facts are -
Mi-REWARDS - ROAD TESTED!
Eager to put it to the test, I signed up – it was easy-peasy and really did take about 2 minutes. I also signed on for their notifications which will let me know about the Weekly Perks, so I’m expecting an email to land in my inbox tonight!
For me, it really is about the reward. I shop with Perth indies a lot and it’s great to see a collective approach to loyalty amongst this amazing group of retailers. I'm now looking forward to my first £10 Perth Gift Card dropping through the door, but I’m also delighted to be bagging myself some discounts and perks along the way – especially if they mean skipping queues of any kind!
Here in Perthshire there are a number of local, independent retailers who can help you become more green in your day to day choices.
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