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Business owners prepare for Belfast Coin

From left, Chris Bunce, Belfast Community sales manager; Richard Cherry, general manager, Colu UK; and Leona Mills, Belfast Community marketing manager.

Colu, the tech company behind Belfast Coin, met with retailers and business owners expected to be among the first cohort of traders to sign up to the incentive-based rewards app on September 5.

With support from local trade groups and Belfast BIDs, representatives from Colu hosted a breakfast-briefing event for local companies interested in Belfast Coin to learn more about the opportunities the app presents for their respective businesses.

Due to go live later in the autumn, Belfast Coin will be accepted as payment in hundreds of shops, bars and eateries across the city. The app is designed to act as a rewards platform; gifting users exclusive discounts and money-back offers when they use the app to purchase goods or services in independently-run businesses.

As well as serving consumer interests, the app promises to be lucrative for local business owners. Belfast Coin will help drive new footfall through the door while also delivering for an existing, loyal consumer base via Colu’s attractive rewards system. Business are set to benefit from Colu’s extensive marketing drive which will feature many of the retailers and restauranteurs signed up to the scheme.

Belfast Coin is designed to encourage Belfast residents to shop independently and support local businesses as shoppers generate more ‘coins’ with each transaction. Coins can also be accrued for other city-minded behaviours, known to make an encouraging environmental impact, such as visiting parks or using public transport.

“Since announcing our intention to introduce Belfast Coin back in May, our team has been busy creating partnerships with key stakeholders and now we are encouraging business owners to sign up to the scheme which fundamentally, is about creating a more positive urban community,” said Chris Bunch, Colu’s Belfast sales manager.

“Our research and time spent in Belfast to date has shown us that Belfast is a forward-thinking, ambitious city so we are confident that retailers will fully embrace the initiative and the innovative technology designed by Colu.

“What’s unique about Belfast Coin is that it empowers the people of Belfast by placing every day consumers at the heart of the City’s success while delivering a positive economic and social impact which will help set Belfast apart for years to come.”

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI, said: “Retail NI is pleased to welcome Colu and the team behind Belfast Coin to our city. It’s clear that we need fresh-thinking and new ideas to rejuvenate the retail sector and alleviate some of the pressure many traders are facing. This is why I would urge all members in the Belfast area to get involved with Belfast Coin and grasp the opportunities it presents.”

In addition to designing and developing Belfast Coin, Colu also wants to deliver improved technology throughout the city and continue to invest in Belfast’s ongoing development. The company has plans to open a unique concept store, generating jobs, creativity and investment in the city centre.

To date, Colu has enjoyed success with similar projects in Liverpool, Tel Aviv and Haifa and plans to introduce similar technology across the globe as part of the company’s 100 Resilient Cities commitment.

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