Millisle (Northern Ireland)

Millisle is a community of 3,500 people. It ranks in the top twenty ‘places of deprivation’ in Northern Ireland as a result of a high percentage of people on benefits. The community has both an aging and young population and sees its population almost double in the summer months due to tourism. The town has a strong working group looking at both access for cash and wider community issues.

Millisle is piloting a wide range of solutions to support local residents, people working or shopping locally, tourists, and local businesses. The services being piloted are:

 Services available through the pilots:

FOR INDIVIDUALS

In Millisle we are offering:

Your bank transactions – at the Post Office Your Post Office has been refurbished, so that it can offer you an even better service to support your personal banking. Customers across virtually all banks can withdraw and deposit cash, deposit cheques,  or pay bills, and more.  Small businesses deposit their takings, and can order and collect floats. You can use this service regardless of who you bank with – for a full list of participating banks click here.

Opening hours are Mon & Tues 7am -10pm, Wed-Sat 7am to 5pm, Sunday 12noon to 5pm

Support to get online banking, and work digitally. We know that not everyone finds digital banking easy or straightforward. We are offering practical support to help you get online. No question is a stupid question! We will be running weekly events and hosting daily support in the Community Hub on Main Street, so please pop in to get more details. 

ATM. There is a free to use ATM situated at the new Euro Spar, so you can access you cash free of charge.

Cashback from local retailers – so that when you buy things from local stores you can also ask for cashback of any amount – whether a round figure (e.g. £10) or just what you need. Free to consumers.

Participating retailers are:

Inner Beauty
43B Main Street
Millisle
BT22 2HR

Guide to what your bank can offer you. The banks offer a wide range of services that most people don’t know about. In fact, as we’ve set up these pilots, we had requests for a lot of services – and found that many are already offered. We’ve written a short guide to these services, and how they can help you.

Getting debt advice, and support to manage your money. We are working with local banks and debt management charities to offer support to those who need it, please get more information at the Community Hub on Main Street.

Make your coins easier to store and spend. We are trialling a new solution, run by a British company called Shrap that enables you to receive your change on a card or mobile app when paying with cash. The service is totally free, and works like a ‘virtual coin jar’ where change can be stored and spent anonymously with businesses and friends. To sign up simply collect a (free) card from a participating business, or click here to learn more: https://www.shrap.co.uk/everyone

FOR BUSINESSES

In Millisle we are offering:

Cashback for your customers – at no cost to you. We know that there are limited ATM facilities in Millisle, and that many consumers would welcome the chance to get more cash locally. We also suspect that if people get cash locally, they will spend it locally. We are therefore offering local retailers, cafes and restaurants the option to give out cashback to consumers, with costs covered by the pilot. If you are interested in hearing more, contact jo@millisle.org.uk

Coin Recycling so that you can handle less small change.

We have heard from small businesses that a challenge with accepting cash is managing the small change. We are piloting a simple to use solution that allows retailers to give customers their change on a card or mobile app, instead of in coins. Not only does this save the hassle of managing small coins, but it allows customers to easily save and spend their change, recirculating value in the local economy that is often lost.

This service will be provided by Shrap, an independent, FCA-authorised start-up based in Poole, UK. Here’s how it works:

  • Businesses maintain a ‘float’ on Shrap instead of coins in a cash drawer.
  • When a customer pays with cash, the business issues their change anonymously – and for free – through the mobile app or onto a physical ‘Change Card’.
  • Customers can store their change in their ‘virtual coin jar’ and make fee-free, anonymous payments to people and businesses conveniently from the app or Change Card, ensuring that it is inclusive of all in society.

If you are a business in Millisle who would like more information or to participate, please visit https://www.shrap.co.uk/business or email support@shrap.co.uk.