The trailblazing Glasgow Gift Card

With 1200 local businesses and over £9 million in spend, we look at the trailblazing Glasgow Gift Card, the story so far and what's next.

1200 local businesses and over £9 million in spend. The Glasgow Gift Card is the gift card program with the most local businesses, with the largest disbursement of funds using the card seen in the UK to date. First launched as part of the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card initiative introduced by Scotland’s Towns Partnership in the economic fightback following the pandemic, the trailblazing Glasgow Gift Card continues to go from strength to strength. We take a look at the highlights of this record breaking gift card, and what’s coming next.

Creating the Glasgow Gift Card proposition

After an initial launch with Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow Life in 2018, Glasgow City Council were quick to grasp the potential of the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card concept in 2021, backed by the Scottish Government, and rolling out to regions across Scotland. In October 2021, onboarding of businesses to a new gift card for Glasgow commenced with businesses of all types and sizes urged to sign up to accept the card, free. With Miconex managing onboarding, shops, restaurants, cafés, salons, attractions, hotels and services flocked to sign up and the Glasgow Gift Card became an attractive, enticing prospect for consumers and corporate businesses. A Miconex local gift card has, on average, 120 national and independent businesses accepting the card. As the largest city in Scotland, and the third largest in the UK, the Glasgow Gift Card quickly surpassed this.

The largest disbursement of funds using local gift cards in the UK

In June 2022, Glasgow City Council approved the distribution of 85,000 £105 Glasgow Gift Cards to low income households in the city – totalling over £8 million – through the Scottish Government’s Covid Recovery Fund. The news that there would soon by £8 million circulating in the city economy, ready to be spent with city businesses ramped up onboarding further. By July 2022, over 700 businesses were part of the Glasgow Gift Card and this kept on building to the over 1200 businesses who are part of the program today. The Glasgow disbursement supported households with dignity and choice though the cost of living crisis. As cards were spent, it provided a significant cash injection for local businesses, bringing new customers through the door. And it locked spend into Glasgow, supporting post pandemic recovery.

A significant cash injection for local businesses with a long term impact

The physical Glasgow Gift Card began landing on doorsteps in Glasgow in summer 2022. Cards required activation using an individualised authentication process sent to eligible households, managed by Miconex. Between August and October 2022, over £6.2 million redemptions were made across 900 plus merchants. A business that saw significant redemptions of the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card was David Cox Butchers in Bridgeton, with 585 transactions to 5th October 2022, and over £14,000 in spend. Owner George Gilmore praised the disbursement for its impact on customers and businesses, noting that the initiative has instigated positive behaviour change. Toryglen Supermarket in Glasgow saw customers using the gift cards to pay for basic necessities and make bill payments, with over 600 transactions to 5th October 2022 and over £10,000 in spend.

Organisations back the Glasgow Gift Card

Scotland Loves Local Gift Card research from 2023 found that 94% of organisations said supporting local was important when planning rewards and incentives. Across Scotland, organisations made the switch to their regional Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, and the same was true in Glasgow with firms large and small using the Glasgow Gift Card for staff and customer rewards and incentives. Chinese supermarket Chan’s used the card in place of the supermarket vouchers they’d used in the past, as a staff appreciation gift, while Morgan Stanley chose the card as part of its ‘giving back’ community ethos for staff rewards. Many Glasgow based charities and non-profits made the move to local too. The choice and dignity offered by the Glasgow Gift Card for service users, accompanied by the support for local was a huge factor in charities like PEEK switching to the card for their 2023 Christmas support offering. A new corporate order site was introduced by Miconex in 2023, making it even easier for Glasgow based firms to choose local.

Digital and a fresh new look

In 2023, Glasgow City Council introduced an e-card version of the Glasgow Gift Card. Recipients can add the e-card to their digital wallet such as Apple or Google Pay, view participating businesses, see their balance and ‘tap to pay’ using their phone. In 2024, the Glasgow Gift Card is continuing to innovate, unveiling a fresh new look for the e-card version of the card, making it even easier for consumers and organisations to support the city. The new look Glasgow Gift Card features a cityscape of some of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings, like City Chambers and Glasgow Science Centre.

Is the Teacher of the Year in Glasgow?

There was heartwarming press for the Glasgow Gift Card in 2024 when Barlanark teacher, Natasia Nawaz from Sandaig Primary School was nominated in a national Teacher of the Year competition, led by Miconex and sponsored by GiftRound. Achievements for Natasia include participation in a Glasgow City Council phonics initiative to ensure children can read, spell and write from the beginning of primary school, with her teaching methods filmed and shared city-wide. The story was picked up by city news outlets Glasgow Times, Glasgow Live and Glasgow World. The Teacher of the Year is one of three marketing campaigns delivered by Miconex for clients each year.

Discover the Glasgow Gift Card

Places to shop to places to eat, shop and explore, the Glasgow Gift Card is the ultimate shop local Gift Card and the starting point for a journey of local discovery. To find out more about the multi-award winning Town & City Gift Card initiative, visit:




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