A clear vision to support local businesses and help stimulate local economies was the driver for Miconex being honoured at the recent Gift Card & Voucher Association ceremony. The Scottish fintech received the award for Small to Medium Business of the Year 2022.

Whilst a number of categories at the Hall of Fame awards required organisations to enter submissions, the Small to Medium Business of the Year was a non-entry category, introduced for the first time in 2022.

Gail Cohen, director general of the GCVA said: “Miconex has been a real force for good in the gift card industry, passionate about supporting local businesses and boosting local economics. It’s been a long period of uncertainty for local businesses, with the challenges of the pandemic and now the pressure of rising costs. However, Miconex’s Town & City Gift Card programme has really highlighted the role that gift cards can play in our communities to lock in money, drive footfall and boost economic activity, helping businesses to withstand the challenges they face.

“Miconex’s hard-working, resilient team are extremely deserving winners of this prestigious new award, determined by the GCVA executive board, which recognises the honourable commitment of small to medium businesses to the gift card industry.”

The accolade for Miconex comes after an extremely busy 12 months for the Perth based operator, including the national rollout of Scottish Government backed Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards for every region of Scotland, working alongside Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP). The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is part of STP’s wider Scotland Loves Local campaign, encouraging people in Scotland to think local first and support local high street businesses. 

Miconex commenced distribution of 85,000 Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards in August 2022, following funding from Glasgow City Council to provide the gift card to low income families in the city in a bid to kick start the local economy, and provide support for local businesses.  Over £3.5 million has already been spent with Glasgow businesses.

In 2022, Miconex continued the rollout of its new digital gifting technology for towns and cities, giving places the opportunity to meet the increasing demand for digital gift cards. Working alongside EML Payments Limited (ASX: EML), and utilising a new global Love Local brand, Miconex’s digital technology works though the Mastercard network. Over 28 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland have launched digital gift cards to date with Miconex.

The company also introduced Collect and Click, a service allowing customers to pick up a gift card when out and about, later loading with value using Load This Card.

Rapid expansion in North America has continued for Miconex throughout 2022 as its Downtown Gift Card concept gains traction in Canada and the US. The firm manages 10 Downtown Gift Card programmes in Canada and 12 Downtown Gift Card programmes in the USA, with a number of new gift card programmes due to launch in the latter part of 2022.

Miconex’s first local gift card, the Perth Gift Card launched in 2015 using a model that is fee free for businesses. Seven years later, Miconex’s Town & City Gift Card and Downtown Gift Card programmes are active in over 150 places in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA. Over 10,000 businesses are part of Miconex programmes, with over £25million spent in local businesses to date.

Growth at the Scottish firm also saw the expansion of its teams in the UK and North America, including the appointment of Leigh Brown, former Chair of the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) Scotland Network, as chief operating officer. 2022 also saw a number of board appointments including Janette MacDonald, former CEO of the Downtown London BIA, joining the board of Miconex Canada, and University of Dundee’s Entrepreneur in Residence and founder of accountancy firm Ashton McGill, Alasdair McGill, joining Miconex’s UK board of directors.

Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex said it was both a surprise and an honour to be presented with the award, alongside chief operating officer Leigh Brown. Colin commented:

“To receive the Small to Medium Business of the Year award from the GCVA, an organisation which is a positive force within the gift card industry and that we hold the greatest respect for, is a proud moment for us. It has been a time of huge growth for Miconex, with significant expansion, and a number of ambitious and exciting projects which are bringing tangible benefits for local communities. Our focus remains on delivering initiatives worldwide which lock in money for businesses, increase footfall and drive local spend, and our thanks go to our places, partners, people and customers who have been so integral to our journey so far.”

Ailie Kofoid, Group Executive, Gifting at EML commented:

“'EML was delighted to witness our client Miconex's great accomplishment at the GCVA Awards. Over the years, we've had a front-row seat to see the positive impact Miconex has had on local communities across the UK and North America. We wish the team every success as we continue to support the company's growth powered by product innovation.”