Waterford Chamber is upgrading its popular gift voucher for a Mastercard backed gift card, and businesses are being encouraged to be a part of it.

Supporting Waterford to reach its full potential is the aim as the city prepares to upgrade its paper gift voucher for a modern gift card.  

Driven by Waterford Chamber of Commerce, with the support of Waterford City & County Council, the Waterford Gift Card will be available as both a digital and physical gift card. Working through the Mastercard system, all Waterford businesses are eligible to accept the card, including retail, hospitality, leisure, health & beauty and services. 

Set to launch in September, the Waterford Gift Card will replace the paper Waterford Gift Voucher introduced by the Chamber in 2013. Just under €1 million of the paper gift vouchers are currently sold each year in Waterford. 

A recent report by RIKON suggests that Waterford is Ireland’s fastest growing city, on course to reach a population of 87,000 and 181,000 in the city and county respectively by 2040. As such, Waterford has been named a Regional City of Scale and an Important Driver of National Growth by the National Planning Framework (NPF).  

The report also suggests that Waterford has an opportunity to increase retail sales of up to €1.49 billion in 2040 and tourism spend of €400 million.  

Waterford Chamber CEO, Gerald Hurley, said that the new Waterford Gift Card builds on the success of the paper based system: “Waterford is a growing city in a region of opportunity with a wider catchment of over 634,000 people within an hour’s drive. We introduced the Waterford Gift Voucher 10 years ago to enable our shop local campaign. It has been well supported with consumers using the vouchers for gifts and organisations using them for rewards and incentives but it is now an antiquated system. 

“The new Waterford Gift Card is the next step to build on the shop local consciousness that exists in Waterford and support our ambitions as a city with a gift card that is easier for businesses and customers. As the new gift card is a prepaid Mastercard, businesses get paid quickly without the need to redeem paper vouchers or give out change. This means that even more businesses in Waterford can get involved and benefit from the programme. 

“We’re already bringing in just under €1 million in sales annually for our paper voucher. The new gift card will help us to reach the full potential of shop local in Waterford, keeping spend local and bringing new money into the city too. I urge all Waterford businesses to register to accept the Waterford Gift Card so you’re not turning away sales.” 

The Waterford Gift Card is part of the award winning Town & City Gift Card programme active across Ireland, the UK, Canada and the USA. Ballinrobe, Carndonagh and Drogheda all operate their own successful Town & City Gift Card programme. 

Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex, said it couldn’t be easier for businesses to register to accept the new gift card:  “The Waterford Gift Card is a route to new customers, repeat customers and increased revenue for businesses. With a gift card in their pocket, people will be more experimental with 50% taking the opportunity to try out a new business, and 50% going on to become regular customers. Over 96% spend up to an extra £50 when redeeming their card, typically within 1-3 months.” 

No additional equipment is required by businesses to accept the card. Waterford businesses can sign up to accept the Waterford Gift Card at https://crm.waterfordchamber.ie/news/details/sign-up-to-the-new-waterford-gift-card or call the office on 051 872639.