A new social currency that will work as a loyalty and rewards service for local businesses in the Russafa district of Valencia, Spain's third largest city, is set to launch in the coming weeks. The service will use NFC to transmit 'Orués' from one account to another via an NFC phone or an NFC card.
Local shoppers will be able to open an Orué account at the offices of Russafa Innova, a non-profit organisation set up by the neighbourhood's residents to establish the social currency.
To cover operating costs, registered users will pay an annual fee of €10 (US$13.50) to use the Orué service. In exchange, they receive a 10 Orué credit on their account and an NFC compatible card that will be used to identify themselves and to make and receive Orué payments. Transactions can also be performed using an NFC phone running the Orué mobile app.
"In relation to business to consumer, the Orué currency works as a system of loyalty, discounts and promotions and interaction can be done from one smartphone to another smartphone or from a smartphone to an NFC card," Enric Montesa, the Russafa resident leading the initiative, told NFC World.
"The smartphone acts as an NFC card reader. To communicate with the online banking server, a requirement is to install a specific application on the smartphone. A customer can pay a mix of euros and Orués; the former can be paid either by cash, check or credit or debit card. Orués will be paid using the Orué account via the NFC card or smartphone."
Merchants are free to decide for themselves what combination of euros and Orués they will accept for transaction. "The idea is that the shop accepts Orués as a voucher in the proportion that it's considered appropriate by its promotion policy," Montesa says. "Face to face transactions are the best, but the service also has a powerful online banking platform which allows users to transfer Orués. The only requirement is to know the account number of the recipient."