We are excited to announce that People’s Food Co-op will be the first retail business in Ann Arbor to accept rCredits, a new community-centered payment system and local currency!
rCredits is a democratic mutual credit system that has been operating in Greenfield, Massachusetts since 2013, and was designed to be replicated in other communities. rCredits are digital, smartphone and text message enabled, and exchangeable for US dollars.
Sign up today!
You need an invitation to join, but if you’re a PFC member, we’ll be happy to invite you. Just go to rCredits.org, click the button that says “Request an invitation,” and type “PFC” in the Notes field when you enter your information.
What’s the big idea?
rCredits is much more than a new way to buy things—it generates rewards for you, the Co-op, and the local community. Several other local businesses are getting ready to start accepting rCredits soon, enabling them to circulate more freely. Later on, local rCredits members will be able to democratically decide what we want in our community, and then create funding for it, ultimately leading to local democratic control of our economy.
How does it work?
When you sign up you get a card with a barcode on it that can be scanned by a smartphone at a cash register. Starting April 1st you’ll be able to use it at PFC and Cafe Verde to buy groceries, coffee and tea, items from the salad bar and hot bar, and much more. All you need to make purchases is your rCard, and you can manage your account online or even via text message.
Rewards for you and the community
You get $20 worth of rCredits just for signing up, plus 10% back on everything you buy with rCredits. And the Co-op gets a 10% bonus on those sales too! These incentive rewards are automatically created by the system during the growth phase and circulate to help grow the local economy, effectively meaning there’s more money for everyone.
Local economic democracy
In the long run, it gets even better—we will actually be able to create rCredits to fund local businesses, projects, and organizations. We will literally come together, decide democratically what we want in our community, and then create funding for it. That could mean more money for local businesses, the environment, social services—it’s up to us to decide.
Is it safe?
Unlike many other local currencies, all rCredits you purchase with dollars or receive as payment can be exchanged back into US dollars at any time. The incentive rewards you get for free, however, can only be spent within the system. Eventually, once the system is well established, the incentive rewards will be phased out to prevent inflation.
To learn more, visit rCredits.org. We’re looking for more local businesses interested in using rCredits and people to help organize. If you’re interested in getting involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow the local progress, visit facebook.com/A2rCredits.
by Adam Konner