Bristol Pound App Bypasses the Banks to Boost Local Economy

The Bristol Pound is launching a new mobile app today (Tuesday 17th October 2017), unveiling the next exciting chapter for the city’s own dedicated currency.

Already used by 800 businesses and organisations across the city, this new digital wallet allows users to manage their account from their smartphone as well as make speedy payments to businesses which trade in the local currency.

The app marks a significant development for the city in sidestepping commercial banks while also revitalising Bristol’s local economy.

Ciaran Mundy, CEO at Bristol Pound said:

“It’s been ten years since big banks caused the financial crash, and not a lot has changed in the banking industry since then. Understandably, trust in banks is pretty low. Meanwhile, we’re seeing a real revival in the independent business sector as people choose local shops over chain stores.

“This new app enables users to address both these areas – circumventing greedy high street banks and at the same time supporting the local independent businesses which make Bristol the vibrant and iconic city that we all love.”

In recent years, Bristol has developed a reputation as a hotbed for Fintech; the term often used to describe the growing Financial Technology sector.  Nic Hemley is CEO of Scott Logic, the Bristol based software consultancy which developed the app pro-bono in partnership with the Bristol Pound:

“As a personal user of The Bristol pound, I have always endorsed the concept but I could see how the existing technology presented users with unnecessary hurdles and would prevent the currency from reaching its full potential.  As a company we are committed to supporting our local community so decided to offer up the services of our designers and developers to the Bristol Pound team. Scott Logic specialises in providing bespoke software applications for the financial sector so creating an app such as this was second nature to us and allowed us to use our expertise whilst trialling some cutting edge open source technology.

“The new app removes any of the perceived barriers for both retailers and the consumer and payment can quite literally be made at the touch of a button; users can now access their account and transfer money from any mobile device.  In the financial sector mobile is key and having a fully functional mobile application which can be used across both apple and android devices is one of the biggest hurdles for a business to overcome and we’ve done just that.”

In 2012 the first paper Bristol Pound was spent by the Lord Mayor on a loaf of bread. Since then the Bristol Pound has become internationally recognised as a trend setter in the local currency world, being the first you can use to pay energy bills and local taxes. Five years on, and five million Bristol Pounds later, the local currency has evolved. You can now manage your account through the new app: users can check their balance and transaction history, search for Bristol Pound businesses and send payments in a few taps.

Paul Wick owns the popular Southville Deli on North Street and has recently opened a new sister store in Redfield:

“Bristol Pounds just make good business sense – they’re in line with our customers’ values and they’re a great way for us to keep money circulating with other local businesses, building a network of mutual support. This new app will make it much easier for customers to use Bristol Pounds day to day. The text to pay system has been an innovative way to make digital payments, and a useful stepping stone, but the app can do it in just a few taps. Plus, the app literally leads customers right to us!”

The Bristol Pound app is available to download for free from app stores now. For more information visit bristolpound.org/app

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