Bolton Market launches 'UK's first' loyalty card scheme

image captionTraders involved in the pilot scheme include butchers, fishmongers and jewellers

The owners of Bolton Market have launched what they say is the UK's first market-based loyalty smart card.

The scheme, which is being piloted for six months across 10 traders at the market in Greater Manchester, uses contactless technology to deliver rewards to those who sign up.

Bolton Council's Akthar Zaman said it would encourage people to "support local producers and businesses".

"We believe this is the first scheme of its kind in the country," he said.

The card, which costs £2, offers a percentage cashback on purchases, which card-holders can then use towards their future shopping at the market.

'Eagerly anticipated'

Points, which are converted into money, are swiped on to the card by the traders when items are bought.

Mr Zaman said the plan was to extend the card to all the market traders if the results of the pilot were positive.

He said that he was "aware that the outcomes from the trial are eagerly anticipated by the industry as a whole".

Market manager Jackie Casey said that while there were only 10 traders taking part in the pilot, there was still a "good selection" involved.

"We've got butchers, fishmongers, fruit and veg, spices and dried fruits, Gothic clothing and jewellery."

She said that if the trial was a success, she could see many possibilities for the card.

"We'll see how this goes and maybe, you never know, it might be a Bolton loyalty card by the time that we've finished."

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