Dublin city gift card to draw festive shoppers

 

A GIFT card for Dublin city centre was launched yesterday, making it the first capital city in Europe to have such a scheme.

The Dublin-branded cards can be used in any shop, cafe or restaurant in the city that accepts Mastercard credit cards The blue card with a Ha’penny Bridge image has no surcharge or any monthly fees.

“The advantage is that it doesn’t cost the consumer anything, if they pay €50 they get €50 back,” Tom Coffey, chief executive of the Dublin City Business Association said. It was a “fairly lengthy process” to get the card and the accreditation right, Mr Coffey said. “It’s a good thing and it brands the city centre,” he said.

The cards are operated by Zappa through Mastercard. Zappa makes money on the interest between when the card is bought and the money is spent, Mr Coffey said. The cards are valid for a year.

Christmas was always a critical time for businesses but footfall in the city was up by 23 per cent in recent weeks, he said. He believed customers had savings but were being more careful and demanding better service.

Dublin businesses had reacted to the downturn by reducing prices by 20 per cent and offering better value and service, Mr Coffey said.

Organisers said the cards are also useful to give to children so they are not carrying cash. They can be bought at Ticketmaster kiosks in St Stephen’s Green and Jervis shopping centres and at a booth in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre.

They are available for amounts between €10 and €150 in increments of €5.