Written by Michaela Parker
In an age where electronic and online transactions are taking prevalence over the exchange of cold, hard cash, it was only a matter of time before the Bristol Pound went online. And the city’s new hub of local design talent, The Bristol Shop have been the lucky ones to take them there.
Having previously supported the currency through another project, Guide2Bristol, Rudy Millard, a partner at The Bristol Shop was adamant that he wanted to accept payment in Bristol Pounds as soon as the shopping site went live on January 29th. “What we hadn’t expected was to be selling Bristol Pounds as souvenirs!” he told us. “But they are very popular with collectors, so people can buy them as well as spend them.”
As well as buying our lovely notes (“the best looking notes in the country” according to Rudy), customers can use the existing Bristol Pounds in their accounts to buy anything from locally produced art prints and jewellery to music and garden furniture on The Bristol Shop site, all through an online transfer or the simple premise of TXT2PAY.
Given a choice of payment methods at the checkout stage, customers choosing either of the Bristol Pound methods are then given either full TXT2PAY instructions or guidance on how to do an online transfer through the Bristol Pound website. “When we receive the payment, we fulfil the order, it’s as easy as that,” exclaims Rudy. “We’ve found that it’s been really easy to implement, so we hope we are going to encourage other online retailers to accept it for purchases too.”
As Bristol Pound is only the second local currency in the UK (Brixton being the first) to have an online setup and text-based payment system, accepting the currency for online transactions is a crucial step in their success and Rudy is positive they can make an impact through online commerce. “One of the ideas behind the currency is to stop money disappearing into faceless global bank accounts and online spending is one of the main ways that happens. Online commerce is only going to increase so Bristol Pound needs to establish itself as a viable online currency.”
With such an easy to use system such as TXT2PAY and a wealth of fantastic local businesses and individuals passionate about our currency and it’s success, the Bristol Pound is at the forefront of a whole new way of shopping online. Think local, and whether you’re buying that souvenir teatowel for your Mum or treating your walls to a print, visit The Bristol Shop and keep your money in our lovely city.