Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office and supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2019/20, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits worth over £1bn – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.
The Voucher Schemes Framework is a multi-supplier framework and enables UK central government and public sector bodies, including those with locations overseas, to make specific voucher/gift card purchases. The framework is in place for 24 months, with the option for CCS to extend the framework for two further 12 month extensions.
As one of 13 suppliers within the Voucher Scheme Framework, Miconex will offer vouchers/gift cards through their new on-line portal, managing the distribution of digital closed loop vouchers/gift cards to UK central government and public sector bodies, such as local authorities.
Miconex operates its successful Town and City Gift Card local gift card programmes with over 60 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland, alongside EML Payments. Town and City Gift Cards are prepaid Mastercards, working like local currency and encouraging local shopping and spending.
Based in Perth, Scotland, Miconex expanded into Canada and North America in 2020, working with EML (ASX: EML). Schemes include a number of Downtown Gift Card programmes in North America and a federal funds disbursement initiative in Alaska.
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said the fintech’s acceptance as a supplier on CCS’s Voucher Schemes Framework will make it easier for UK government and public sector bodies to support a wider range of local businesses, from independent traders to large brands:
“Our product lends itself well to different use cases such as disbursement of funds, hardship funds, local gift card schemes, reward and recognition programmes, and as incentives for survey completion or similar initiatives. Local authorities and other agencies will be able to purchase our local gift cards/vouchers for their use cases by logging into our new platform, reading our prospectus including our case studies, and placing their order.
“Buying through the CCS Voucher Schemes Framework provides flexibility and familiarity to public sector buyers; we will provide a fully managed service tailored to their specific needs. It will be possible for users to procure gift cards/vouchers whether the place has a Town and City Gift Card scheme or not.
“Town and City Gift Cards have been used in a variety of ways around the UK and Ireland, including a disbursement of funds initiative in Scotland whereby East Ayrshire Gift Cards were distributed to local families by East Ayrshire Council as part of a support care package campaign, allowing families to redeem the disbursed funds with dignity at over 120 participating businesses in the area.
“The East Ayrshire Gift Card was also used as a way to support students experiencing financial hardship, and in the housing department’s garden competition for tenants. In this local authority alone, we’ve seen diverse use cases for gift cards alongside more traditional consumer sales.
“We’re very pleased to have been named as a supplier on CCS’s Voucher Schemes Framework and look forward to working alongside government and public sector bodies around the UK.”