New Wicklow local currency app goes live

By November 26, 2019Notices

An app supporting a new local currency for Wicklow has gone live in app stores in recent days.  Supported by over 60 local businesses, the VillagePod app supports a new local currency called ‘VillageCoin’, which is tied one-for-one with the euro. With a dedicated team of six based from Bray, 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.” Louise added: “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.”

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.”

“We are excited to be part of VillagePod. It’s such a super and simple idea.  There is such a buzz amongst local businesses and customers already” stated Lauren O’Sullivan from Dockyard No. 8.

Some VillagePod supporting retailers:

  • 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
  • Giulio’s
  • Halfway down the Stairs
  • Horse & Hound
  • House of Style
  • Ladies Work out Express
  • Lash Envy
  • Nature In
  • oHSo
  • O’Sullivan’s 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

(Note the rollout of the platform is continuing and not all of these retailers have begun accepting payments on VillagePod as of the date of this release.)

About VillagePod

VillagePod was established by Greystones businessman Cormac McKenna in early 2019 and is now a team of six based on the seafront in Bray. The platform operates under the EU Payment Services Directive Limited Network Exclusion which allows payments platforms to operate in local areas in advance of obtaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland. The initiative has received funding from the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow.

See for more information.