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PCS produces reward cards for UK schools

Plastic Cards

As more and more schools look for new initiatives to raise standards and improve economic well-being, we look at how one company partnered with a leading card manufacturer to roll out one of the UK’s leading school reward schemes.

With the help of Plastic Card Services, Vivo Miles launched an innovative reward scheme in 2009. The scheme, known as ‘Vivo Miles’ is already operating in 250 schools in the UK and this number is expected to double in the next few months, reaching over half a million children. The company also had its sights in Europe, Australia and the USA.

Background

Vivo Miles is a web-based rewards scheme for young people aged between 11 and 18.

Under the system, students can earn points for factors such as good behaviour, attendance, healthy eating, smart uniform, hard work, excelling in sport and helping around the school.

Students are given an online account, which allows them to check how many ‘Vivos’ they have been awarded, and their ‘Vivo card’ can be used to make purchases on an online store or donate to charity. The card can also integrate with other school systems, such as cashless catering and library management facilities.

Brief

Vivo Miles wanted to develop a reward programme that would meet the needs of schools by using a framework that supported the Government reforms outlined in ‘Every Child Matters’ for improving children’s well-being.

The company sought a solution that went beyond the conventional ‘stickers or stars’ incentive but instead offered a real life approach to financial learning so that it was more meaningful experience for young people. Key to the solution was a multi-purpose credit style card which, for many students, would be the first card with real perceived value that they had to be responsible for.

The Vivo card needed to work in conjunction with other card based systems typically found in schools, so that a student could use the same Vivo card for a multiple of purposes, such as registration, taking books out of the library or collecting school lunches

Vivo Miles needed a reliable partner that could provide a complete print solution – from the production of artwork and print, to mail and fulfillment.

Solution

Following a competitive pitch, Plastic Card Services (PCS) was awarded the contract in early 2009.

PCS manufactured bulk stock of cards (credit card style with hico magnetic stripes), letterheads and envelopes data files received daily/weekly from Vivo Miles containing student details for card personalisation and fulfilment.

The data was transferred by a secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) which was specifically developed by Vivo Miles with the highest level of data security.

The Vivo Miles cards were embossed and encoded with personal data, attached to corresponding personalised letters, inserted to envelopes and mailed to participating schools for distribution.

To ensure that the scheme was managed with maximum efficiency, Service Level Agreements were put in place to guarantee the despatch of cards within seven working days of data transfer.

Results

PCS has helped save Vivo Miles time, money and greatly reduced any inconvenience by managing the mail fulfillment process.

PCS has reached the half million card milestone for Vivo Miles and the numbers are expected to double in 2011.

Testimonials

On selecting PCS, Adrian Burt, Managing Director at Vivo Miles said: “PCS’s response to our requirements was excellent. We were impressed by their technical expertise, on-site technology and ability to advise us on the best solution for the Vivo Miles scheme. We knew we could leave them to it, which was great as we could focus on other elements of the scheme.

“The reward system has proved hugely successful since it was launched and I would like to thank PCS for their efforts in making it such a success. The support and customer service has been first class and we couldn’t manage this without them.”

Commenting on Vivo Miles, PCS Managing Director, Rob Nicholls said: “The cards make an ordinary reward card into a whole new experience for young people and we needed to ensure that the card would appeal to this age group, as well as perform the various functions proposed.

“Our purpose-built manufacturing plant has been designed to produce high quality specification plastic cards with exceptional efficiency, which is perfect for managing this type of contract as we there are new schools coming on board each month so we need to be prepared for a quick turnaround.”