How CCV Lab developed a local gift card scheme for our hometown

Kortrijk is a city with a population of 80,000, and it’s also the Belgian hometown of CCV Lab - our technical team. That’s why we were incredibly excited that CCV Connect was chosen to be the platform for the city’s digital gift card scheme.

The Kortrijk Cadeaubon is a city-led scheme to encourage residents to buy locally. At CCV, we’ve helped lots of other cities with similar schemes - in Genk, Wijchen, Enschede, and Kerkrade, to name just a few. This time, the scheme is bigger than ever.

We’re helping Kortrijk design, produce, sell, and deliver 80,000 gift cards over the next four years, with an expected € 800,000 annual revenue.

Here, we want to tell you all about the project - from what we did to win the tender to how we are making it happen.

The background: The problems to solve for Kortrijk

Before working with CCV, Kortrijk’s gift card scheme was held back by a number of problems:

High costs. The scheme’s previous payment solution suffered high transaction costs, each time the card was used at a terminal. With ambitions to expand the scheme, this was a financial burden for the city.

Limited usability. In Kortrijk and across Belgium, not every merchant has a payment terminal. Yet the city’s previous gift card solution could deliver payment only to a terminal. This was holding back adoption. But at CCV,  we could provide a solution to include everyone.

Management difficulties. Alongside the technicalities of payment, Kortrijk’s city-wide gift card scheme involved challenging administrative tasks. That included distributing cards to customers, managing the card webshop, paying and managing merchants, and troubleshooting for all users. The CIty wanted a partner that could handle it all.

Enter CCV. We were confident that we could deliver exactly what Kortrijk needed. Here’s how we made it happen:

How CCV supported the city of Kortrijk

Let’s take you through it step by step:

Firstly, our relationship with Kortrijk began with our tender. We outshone our competitors with:

  • A fully timetabled and budgeted plan for completion, so Kortrijk knew precisely what they were getting and when throughout the project.
  • Legal advice from experts, to ensure absolute clarity on payment regulations, maximum spend, and mechanisms for preventing fraud.
  • Custom-designed digital and tangible gift cards, so the City could get a precise sense of the look and feel of the final product.

Since winning the tender, we’ve set to work to make it a reality. And that’s meant delivering the following:

A flexible, versatile payment solution. This was the core part of our offer to Kortrijk: a gift card solution that could be redeemed through POS terminals, app-based payment, APIs, and online. (More on this below).

Content management and ecommerce services. Beside the payment technology, we offered to take content management off Kortrijk’s hands. We were prepared thanks to the CCV Shop, our ready-made eCommerce solution that could suit their needs.

Creativity alongside technical expertise. Kortrijk wanted a user-friendly website, accessible to the whole local community. Our in-house design team was on-hand to deliver, with a design that reflected the imagery, sights, and values of the city.

Physical supply. For the gift cards to be usable at all, they first need to be delivered to users in a safe, secure, and reliable way. To make this happen, we came up with a smart solution. We’re now combining physical card delivery with digital activation codes, to ensure the gift cards can only be used by the intended recipient.

Merchant and customer support. No matter how simple the solution, users can need help to use it. We are continuing to work with Kortrijk over the coming years to provide all the tailored support that every user needs.

CCV: Providing a flexible payment solution

The City of Kortrijk’s first concern was simple: a gift card payment solution that was accessible, versatile, and affordable. This is what we delivered, through two technologies:

CCV Connect

Firstly, every CCV gift card can be accepted by merchants who don’t have a conventional payment terminal. That’s thanks to CCV Connect, our payment app. Equipped with only a smartphone, merchants can simply scan the QR code on the back of the card for users to make payment.

Terminal payments

As many large merchants prefer alternatives to app-based payment, it was crucial to develop a payment solution for conventional Point of Sales. That’s exactly what we did. Now, through magstripe payment technology, Kortrijk’s gift cards can also be used on almost every payment terminal too.

The future of the Kortrijk gift card

With our new solution ready to go, we’re prepared for the rollout:

  • The City of Kortrijk is starting with 150 merchants in the city centre and ultimately expanding to 300 merchants across the city.
  • Starting with 20,000 cards in the first year, the scheme will deliver 80,000 cards over the next four years.
  • Kortrijk’s scheme is expected to generate €800,000 every year for merchants.

Now, with the success of the Kortrijk scheme, we expect other cities across Benelux to join the same model, where residents can support every local merchant with the city gift card.

Ready to find out more?

Contact CCV about gift card and loyalty schemes for your city or region.