In the US, a crowdfunding platform enables users to support local food businesses by purchasing prepay credits called 'credibles.'
The success of crowdfunding is in large part down to the sense of involvement it inspires in its consumer/investors. We have seen platforms such as Watsi and Pursuit carve their own niche by tapping into the consumer’s desire to help individuals. Now Credibles is empowering customers to invest in their own community by enabling local food businesses to sell store credit — called ‘credibles’.
The premise is simple: Customers set up a prepaid tab which they can then use instore, giving the business a small financial boost in the mean time. Much like other crowdfunding platforms, the businesses are receiving investment from their loyal customers, rather than turning to financial institutions.
Businesses can offer special deals to ‘investors’, such as an extra ten percent added to their tab when they make a large investment. They can offer incentives and free gifts: Flying Fish in Portland offer a free sushi class for two to customers who buy USD 1000 worth of edibles. They can also sell customized gift cards.
Customers sign up via Facebook and make purchases with Paypal. They can keep an eye on their credits with a free app and redeem them in-store simply by saying “I’m paying with Credibles,” and the amount will be deducted from their mobile app account.
The Credibles system is thriving across America where it is helping strengthen relationships between business owner and consumer. Are there other platforms which could support the consumer’s desire to invest in their own community?