Complementary (or Virtual) Currency, not to be confuses with Digital Currency (i.e. Bitcoin), enables Alternative Markeplaces or Virtual Economies, namely marketplaces where goods or services can be paid with the alternative currency. Money in complementary or virtual currency can be purchased with real money, but also earned by selling artifacts and services to the community associated to the marketplace. It is very common in Virtual Words such as Second Life or in Internet games such as World of Warcraft or those linked to Facebook. In Switzerland, there is a well-known complementary currency called WIR franc ("we" in German). WIR was created to face post World War I economic crisis but it was never dismissed. In use still today, it was meant to be used between Swiss companies to deal with money value fluctuation. What is important to understand with complementary currencies is that once money is purchased it cannot be changed back to other currencies. The money has to remain in the community.
Loyalty Programs, allow people to collect points or credits when they make purchases on associated retailers or vendors. The points can be exchanged for selected goods or services from a catalog. Usually, the monetary value of points correspond to a fraction of amount paid, i.e. 1 point for $10 paid. In some cases, points can be turned into money to purchase items in the associated retail stores or vendors (usually for the nominal value, i.e. 1 point = $1). Similarly to complementary currencies, the points collected cannot be exchanged for cash in another currency. However, they can be used "as if" they were cash to purchase items sold by the issuer (e.g. one can use point to buy items sold in the related loyalty program's retail store).
Incentive Programs, although very similar to Loyalty Programs, they differ in purpose. Incentive Programs promote the purchase of additional items. Loyalty Point can be part of an Incentive Program as a reward of particular behavior. In a sense, Loyalty Programs can be seen as a type of Incentive Program that rewards recurring purchase within the same retail store or from the same vendor. However, it is not the only way to reward a particular behavior and many other behaviors can be rewarded. A very common Incentive Program is the Sales Incentive Program (SIP), namely rewarding people or organizations that drive sales. A special case of SIP are Affiliate Programs (or Referrals) where an organization sells items from a vendor and gets a commission on the sale.
Why do we talk about the above topics? Because we believe that Karmly can leverage these three concepts to drive generosity and sales at the same time. How is it possible?
Karmly is essentially an Incentive Program for making donations to Charities and Causes, where generous behavior is Rewarded through Loyalty Points. These points are actually a Virtual/Complementary Currency that the users can use to bargain products and services in a Marketplace.
Since it's a Marketplace, anything can be sold and purchased. We will make our best to let our users to find exactly what they are looking for and for the best price on the market.