Princeton Merchants Association Plans Local Prepaid Card

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The Princeton Merchants Association, of Princeton, N.J., announced that it plans to offer a local shopping card in September to encourage residents to shop with locally owned businesses.

Shoppers in Princeton will have the option of using a special debit card or a mobile payment option through their smartphone to make purchases at local retailers, pay for parking and even give back to their favorite local nonprofits in the process.

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One of the reasons given for the creation of the card is that the cost of accepting credit cards is too high for merchants.

The card will help merchants avoid normal bank credit card fees, which can sometimes be as high as three percent. Local credit card processor Heartland Payment Systems has agreed to charge merchants a flat rate of 5 cents per transaction. Merchants will be required to donate one percent of transactions to local charities.

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The announcement of the card follows closely the announcement of an agreement between the Merchants Association and Repunch to create a digital loyalty program for local companies.

Repunch is a digital loyalty platform for local retailers. The program allows merchants and their customers to benefit from each other in innovative new ways that go far beyond the traditional “buy 10 get 1 free” punchcard model. Repunch provides retailers innovative solutions for loyalty, marketing, data analytics, and communication. For consumers, Repunch makes earning rewards exceptionally easy while also providing simple ways to better interact with your favorite merchants around town.

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The moves demonstrate how technology can help level the playing field for small merchants looking for ways to compete with larger rivals. Digital loyalty, cards that run on restricted authorization networks, and strong marketing plans can all be used to encourage resident to shop with the businesses that are headquartered within their own communities.