Questions we've been asked by local business owners about our program.
About how Local Points work
Can you explain the subscription fee? Are there cancellation penalties? Am I locked in?
The subscription fee is $20 / month per terminal. This includes staff training, a terminal device (for use at your point of sale), a wooden stand for the device, door stickers, customer hand-out cards, in-app listing, and social media coverage. You may cancel your involvement in The Local Frequency at any time. There are no cancellation penalties.
Why give 3% for debit/cash transactions and 1% for credit card transactions?
The Local Frequency allows you to issue a reward that works for your business depending on the payment method the customer chooses. The credit card reward is slightly lower to account for the higher processing fee of that payment method.
You will have access to my bank account through a pre-authorized debit agreement. Is this safe and secure?
Protegra’s community of businesses includes a payroll company called Blue Canvas who performs the payment processing for The Local Frequency. Blue Canvas currently serves 450 businesses and is the official payroll provider for the Winnipeg and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.
How do refunds work?
If you offer refunds for in-store credit or exchanges, then simply exchange for the full amount and do not issue more Local Points. Local Points were given out on the initial transaction. If you offer a full refund, then we recommend returning the full amount less the number of Local Points awarded. You will need to mark all receipts where Local Points were awarded to indicate how to process the refund.
So customers can earn Local Points from me and spend them at another participating business?
Yes. In addition, Local Points can be earned elsewhere and redeemed at your business. The program then exchanges those redeemed Local Points for cash back to you. Our program is a network of local businesses for which there is a net overall benefit to participating businesses, as customers actively seek to purchase and earn Local Points within the network.
When someone redeems Local Points at my business, how do I receive money for that? Am I giving away things for free?
To keep things simple, 1 point equals 1 dollar in value, e.g. 1.05 Local Points equates to $1.05. When Local Points are given out, we collect the cash equivalent from the business that gives those points via pre-authorized debit. Subsequently, when Local Points are redeemed at that business, or any other business in the network, we transfer the cash equivalent of those points back to that business via pre-authorized debit. We settle the accounts every week, unless the transfer amounts are below a threshold.
What if I give out Local Points to a customer and they never spend it? Does The Local Frequency keep the points?
If a user hasn’t earned or redeemed Local Points over a 12 month period their account is closed. We will then try to return the closed account's credits to the business they were earned at. We believe if the Local Points are not re-circulating and adding value to the network, they should be returned to the originating business.
I already use a loyalty program. Can I use The Local Frequency at the same time?
That’s a good question. There isn’t anything technically preventing you from offering Local Points in addition to your current loyalty program. You’ll have to determine if the numbers make sense for your business.
Ease of Use for Staff
I don’t want to make life difficult for my staff. Is the solution easy to use?
The whole process takes less than 8 seconds to scan the customer’s QR code and submit the transaction amount. Our design has focused on minimizing impact to staff and customers.
Will I have accounting difficulties because the program device is separate from the point of sale device?
We’ve worked with local business accountants to ensure that the monthly statement report will meet your needs. This transaction report allows you to see what transaction fees you’ve been charged, how much Local Points you’ve given out, and how many of those points have been spent at your business. The net dollar amount of points given out, points redeemed, and fees is pulled from, or deposited into, your account once a week. We give notice prior to the debit or credit occurring.
Promotion to Customers
How are you promoting this program?
We have a big emphasis on marketing using online and traditional advertising. Our aim is to drive lots of traffic to our program, and in turn, our participating member businesses.
How do I get my customers to sign up to the program?
We offer point of sale material that explain the program, and small temporary sign-up cards that allow a customer to claim the points from their first transaction. These can be offered by your staff at the point of sale. In addition to this, The Local Frequency has its own marketing program to encourage customers to sign up.
What kind of support do you offer?
We offer phone support during business hours, and we also have email support.
What if my Wi-Fi connection fails in the middle of a business day?
Our training material shows you how to work in offline mode, allowing you to continue to give Local Points to your loyal customers. Redemptions are not available without a connection to our servers.
How does training work?
We train your staff at your store, after which your staff are able to train other staff. If you need a refresher, we offer a user guide. If that’s not sufficient, we’re happy to come out and assist. In addition to training on the use of the device, we give your staff simple messaging to use when your customers ask what the program is all about.
Do you have experience building secure software systems and apps?
Yes, we have lots of experience building secure software for government, banking, payroll, wealth management, telecom, insurance and lotteries. We’ve taken the same care in building The Local Frequency systems.
Are you a locally-owned business?
The Local Frequency is a branded offering of Protegra. Protegra is a 100% employee-owned Winnipeg business that began in 1998.
Do you collect personal information about my customers?
The only personal information we collect from your customers is their email address so that we can verify their account information. If there is a support issue involving a particular customer, we may have to collect a bit more info to resolve the matter – with their permission of course! We will not use this additional information for any other purpose.