Regional currency promotes regional economic circuits and local voluntary organizations. The following regional currency networks in Germany have been active for several years, keeping buying power in the regions and enabling interest-free financing:
Regional currency is mostly seen in the form of vouchers: Chiemgauer, Sterntaler, Ampertaler and many other “Taler” and “Blüten” circulate around the regions.
One card – many possibilities
From the experiences with the Chiemgauer, the supporting regional currencies organization, Regios eG, developed software that simplifies the introduction and administration of regional money. At the heart of this concept is the Regiocard in combination with regional money accounts. Cashless payments can be carried out with the Regiocard. Users register for free with their local Regiogeld organization and receive a Regiocard within 14 days. The Regiocard functions like a European credit card (EC card): customers can draw down vouchers from their account or pay directly through the terminal at the cashier. This card brought regional money into the modern world of electronic payments. It simplifies the use of regional money and is easy to understand – for providers, users and local organizations. In order to be able to offer this service to providers, regional money promoters need a Regiocard reader. This costs 10 Regios / Euros per month, in combination with a normal credit card terminal 15 Regios / Euros.
The data center for Regio initiatives
The Regios eG is currently the data center for the Chiemgauer and Sterntaler regional currencies in Bavaria. It ensures that the Regiogeld accounts balance, that Regiogeld users can easily pay and also that larger sums can be transferred using the electronic system. A ‘silent’ system running in the background is necessary to be able to process a turnover of four million Chiemgauers annually. At the push of a button, it supports card payments, automatic transfers to support good causes, a transfer of 10,000 Chiemgauers or a withdrawal of 100 Chiemgauers cash.
The Regiogeld accounts provide the technical basis for Regiocard. Companies and voluntary organizations that take part in the Regiocard system need a Regio account. Payments by users and donations to voluntary groups are booked through the system. Direct transfers between regional currency accounts do not incur transfer charges. A regional contribution is only required when someone wants to transfer from one regional currency account to another bank account that is not a participant in the regional accounts system.
The Regios eG sees itself as a service to regional currency initiatives.