The REC starts life via a pilot scheme for citizen currency in the Besòs neighbourhoodsThe ten neighbourhoods in the Besòs area are to start using a digital currency in May known as the REC (citizen economic resource). The REC will be equal in value to the euro and has been conceived to boost local commerce and services and promote greater consumer awareness. The 1,000 families receiving municipal inclusion income will be the first to use the new currency, receiving part of their subsidies in RECs.
Information sessions are currently being held for retailers’ associations in ten Besòs neighbourhoods so that they join the scheme and accept the REC as valid payment for goods and services. The local use of the currency will allow for it to circulate within the territory, strengthening existing local commerce, incentivising the opening of new commerce and consolidating associations, in turn resulting in better quality of life for local residents.
Everyone will be able to use the digital currency for everyday purchases in their neighbourhood. The first users will be the 1,000 families on municipal inclusion benefit, who will get a quarter of their payments in RECs. The families were informed of the measure when they applied for the subsidy.
The REC can be used with a mobile app, available midway through May, or via a card with a QR code on it. Once registered and credited with the desired quantity of RECs users will be able to consume and pay instantly, easily and with no added costs.
During this first stage the project will be headed by the social innovation association Novact, along with social and commercial entities in the Besòs area with support from the City Council. With a view to the future, the idea is for the scheme to be managed by Taula de Canvi, an organisation made up of entities, retailers and representatives from the City Council and the districts, the steering group for which was recently set up.