Social currencies

Social currencies are policy instruments that realise social goals by activating unused resources in society and empowering people to tackle local issues together. They align objectives of multiple stakeholders in order to reach meaningful impacts in society. Whether designed to address one single issue or several at the same time, social currencies act as glue for cooperation.

As a supplement to the euro, social currencies can reach several goals, among which:

  • Increase safety, liveability and cleanliness of neighbourhoods
  • Steer citizens’ behaviour toward socially responsible goals
  • Deliver social and informal care with the help of volunteers / stimulate mutual care and assistance
  • Strengthen elderly care
  • Revitalise local retailers and businesses
  • Connect people to non-profit organisations, civic associations and clubs
  • Help bring relief in crisis areas

Social currencies are technologically enabled solutions typically combining timebanking[1] and loyalty programmes for retailers. Every social currency unit holds real economic value. Transactions are carried out seamlessly via various (electronic) means like web interfaces, mobile app, mobile texts (sms) and NFC technology.

Download below a case study on social currencies:


[1] In timebanking, for every hour contributed to the community, you receive an hour of time on your account. This allows you to receive an hour of time in return from another community member.