Local currencies now number more than 10 in the UK. We have our own here in Bristol. The aim behind each of them is to keep money in their local economies.
Liverpool Council estimates that when people spend with independent retailers, up to 65p in the pound stays within the local economy. That figure drops to 30p in the pound if money is spent with larger, global organisations.
Based on those figures, it's clear to see why interest in these currencies is growing. Gaining market share though seems to be the real hurdle.
The company behind the Liverpool currency, Colu has placed great emphasis on the digital experience, offering an entirely digital service through a smartphone app. The aim to streamline the experience, tie in with the trend for mobile banking and encourage easier use by the wider population. Incentives are also offered to get people to engage early with it.
This article is interesting as it looks at the experience from various organisations within the money chain and also touches on some of the limitations of the service where further steps to keep money local could be taken.
The idea behind them is that if you spend your money with a locally based company instead of a big chain, more of that money will continue to circulate locally.