Innovative new “shop local” initiative brings communities together

Community clubs and small businesses are coming together as part of a world first initiative
to encourage people to shop locally using a new rewards program, The Buying Club, introduced by MPower Media.

The pioneer program, which launched earlier this month, sees member loyalty points accrued through community clubs converted into cash to be spent on daily purchases including food, clothing and services via a club branded pre-paid debit card.

The system works by creating a discount network between community clubs and local businesses, offering club members 5 per cent cash back on all purchases made with any of the businesses within the network.
MPower Media Managing Director Brian Paterson said The Buying Club is unmatched from a rewards, technology and service offering.

MPower Buying Club Infographic


“We have taken traditional rewards programs to a new level, applying savvy marketing techniques and new technology to introduce a spending and reward cycle that will benefit clubs, customers and the community,” Mr Paterson said.

“The Buying Club supports small businesses such as butchers, bakers and local trades by allowing them to join a club loyalty program for free, which allows their goods and services to be searched for online with the aim of increasing customers and cash flow.

“Club members will now have the choice and flexibility to spend their points with local businesses in-store or online, they will enjoy earning points when spending at their club or shopping with participating businesses, they receive exclusive offers and can top up the amount on their cards through cash transfers via a new club branded log in app.”

Mr Paterson said the program also helps community clubs to better understand their members through the program’s data collection platform, which will provide valuable insight into where members prefer to shop outside of the club and allow cross promotion between businesses.

“The Buying Club will alleviate the administration process and costs associated with awarding prizes and vouchers to members. Staff will now have the option to load prizes onto member pre-paid cards from “the floor” via a tablet or mobile phone in real-time. This feature negates the need for clubs to purchase gift cards and vouchers,” Mr Paterson said.

“In many clubs up to half of all loyalty points get discarded because members don’t use the points they collect. With dollar values uploaded in real time, our debit card solution will ensure the spending and reward cycle continues as it was first intended.

“We’re offering clubs a better understanding of their patrons, while providing small businesses with more customers and members with more spend flexibility.”

Mr Paterson described The Buying Club as a holistic rewards program, and its community focus has drawn significant attention and interest, with more than 40 clubs expected to come on board in early 2017.

C.ex Group CEO John Rafferty said the platform was the way of the future for marketing
within community clubs and associations.

“No longer do we just sell our products and services to customers; we sell lifestyle and convenience. By moving away from our old ways of attracting loyalty and engaging in The Buying Club, we get to know our customers needs, allowing us to tailor our business to meet members’ demands and ensure that we remain relevant,” Mr Rafferty said.

“We also get to work closely with local business owners, to promote a strong, viable economy, which is a win for everyone involved,” he added.

MPower Buying Club is accepting registrations of interest from clubs, associations and small businesses Australia-wide at

For further information or to organise an interview, photography or vision, contact:
Cassandra Cooney, Elevate Senior Communication Manager
(p) 07 3180 3666 / 0430 500 283

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