Launched July 2019 by Monaco resident Antoine Bahri, Carlo is the country’s first mobile application that rewards consumers for buying goods and services at local businesses.
“We created a smart currency for Monaco,” says Bahri, who is featured in the current March/April edition of Forbes Monaco.
Essentially when making a purchase at one of the Carlo affiliated shops in Monaco, you use the app to scan the store’s QR code and automatically get 5% cash back in your virtual wallet, which can be accumulated and spent at any Carlo business in the Principality.
Yet with the country under lockdown since March 17, the majority of commercial businesses, who are not deemed essential services, have had to close their doors. “We had to find solutions for them,” asserts the 34-year-old founder.
Bahri and his team approached the government and the Welcome Office about the idea of selling gift cards with a 10% bonus to incentivize residents to buy local and to help stores in Monaco during these difficult times.
“They were very receptive and supportive of the idea,” Bahri affirms, “and this is how Carlo Market was created.”
The Carlo Market platform offers a variety of gift cards, ranging in value, which will be valid until the end of 2020 at different commerce in Monaco.
“We also wanted to give shoppers the opportunity to get more for their money. So until May 31, for each euro spent on a gift voucher, the government will add 10% to the card. You help support the local economy while saving money,” explains Bahri, who grew up in Monaco.
In the future, Carlo Market will become a local marketplace where merchants à proximité will be able to sell their products online. On the other side, shoppers will be able to discover a one-stop list of products of all the retailers in their area.
“The goal with the Carlo gift cards is to support your favorite business in Monaco from May 4 during the current financial crisis, either by treating yourself or a loved one,” adds Bahri.
Article first published April 30, 2020
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