My Community Rewards to create members-only online mall

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My Community Rewards, a card program that donates earned rewards to community nonprofits, has tapped MediaNet Group Technologies Inc.' BSP Rewards subsidiary to build an online mall and affinity platform for members.

“MediaNet is very flexible, and they fit our business model,” said Cachi Trejo, president and CEO of My Community Rewards. “They have a large participating merchant base on a national level, and we're putting together local network so it made sense for us to partner to get that larger merchant participation.”

Users of the MYCR Rewards Cards earn money for local schools, churches and other organizations when they shop at the mall's more than 750 member retailers. They can also put rewards towards personal savings for college, retirement, travel or shopping. The MCR branded online mall is designed to improve customer loyalty and retention and boost customer acquisitions for MCR and its affiliate retailers.

“It creates a win for everyone,” Trejo added. “The businesses get the customers from sales, the consumers get rewards for going in, and the fundraisers earn money for each purchase.”

MCR is currently undergoing merger talks with another card program. If that deal goes through, MCR will have 20,000 cardholders. The company, which only runs programs on the West Coast right now, is also in the midst of branding campaigns in the Midwest and east coast in anticipation of expanding.

Before the mall opens in the fourth quarter of this year, MCR will launch a hefty PR blitz, with messages on its Web site and in local print and TV ads. The company will also have booths set up at various community events and fairs to build buzz.

Trejo declined to give specific metrics for measuring the program's success, but he noted, “The way we will measure success is by how much money we're able to raise for charities; that is our number one goal. We want to be able to provide a new medium for local charities and fundraisers to help raise the money they need so desperately,” he said. “We'll look at how many purchases are being made online by cardholders and members, and we'll continually measure where we are and where we want to be so that we can correct things that need correcting.”

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