Calgary Dollars goes digital
Calgary's complementary currency gets a rebrand
In a world of Bitcoins and cryptocurrency, Calgary Dollars has upgraded to the 21st century with its own digital version of its iconic complementary currency.
“We wanted to make it easier for our business users to track and reconcile their Calgary Dollars through a streamlined accounting process,” says Manager Gerald Wheatley. The shift from paper money to digital currency also came with a new Calgary Dollars mobile app and website.
For more than two decades, Calgary Dollars’ model of complementary currency – meaning it can be used in select local businesses and in exchange for goods and services alongside federal currency, ensuring a circular economy within Calgary’s borders.
Calgary Dollars is also fighting against poverty by providing a supplementary income for its users on the platform, through partnerships with The City of Calgary to allow up to 50% of business licenses be paid in Calgary Dollars, and through its Take Action Grants program – building capital for social impact initiatives in Calgary, towards which a portion of all Calgary Dollars transactions go.
“It’s a way to build community,” Gerald adds. Through the Calgary Dollars app, organizations such as the Victoria Park Business Improvement Area, and five affordable housing districts including Norfolk Housing Association, have been able to create their own subnetworks for local users to register and be hyper-local with their spending of Calgary Dollars.
Calgary Dollars has changed immensely for the greater good since announcing this brand refresh in December 2018, and Gerald is optimistic about the economic future. “I look forward to the day where Calgarians can pay their taxes with Calgary Dollars they earned helping a neighbour,” he says.