FAQ for Businesses - UticaProud

Created by Marcus Harvey, Modified on Thu, 27 Oct, 2022 at 9:03 PM by Marcus Harvey

Please note that these FAQ are subject, but not intended to modify the terms of the Reimbursement Agreement entered between you and the City of Utica.

Rewards/Utica Halfmoons 

How does the Utica Halfmoons program work?

Your customers can earn Utica Halfmoons by making Qualifying Purchases which they can then spend at Redeeming businesses, like yours, through the City of Utica app. Earning those Utica Halfmoons will encourage them to purchase locally and strengthen the City of Utica community and its businesses.

What are Utica Halfmoons?

City of Utica offers customers the opportunity to be rewarded with Utica Halfmoons (Utica City's exclusive local point system) for supporting participating local businesses. Users can earn Halfmoons upon completion of Qualifying Purchases included in the reward offers published on  Utica Proud, and exchange Utica Halfmoons for goods and services at Redeeming businesses, like yours. The redemption value of each Halfmoon is equal to one U.S. dollar ($1.00). 

What are reward offers?

Reward offers are concurrent campaigns that are published on City of Utica in cycles, to empower community members (your customers) to shop local and support local businesses. Each reward offer will focus on an initiative that the City of Utica wishes to promote. Reward offers change over time, and you will be notified if your business is included in one or more. Each reward offer will have its own terms and conditions by which a user may be rewarded with Utica Halfmoons. To earn Utica Halfmoons, Users of the app can join reward offers published on the Utica Proud by linking their credit/debit card and hitting the “Join reward offer” button for a specific reward offer that interests them.

What is a qualifying purchase?

Generally speaking, a Qualifying Purchase would be made through a linked payment card at a business that is participating in an ongoing reward offer. Each reward offer has its own terms defining a Qualifying Purchase. For example, a requirement for one reward offer might be a minimum of a $1 purchase at a participating business and for another, it could be a minimum of a $5 purchase. The terms will always be specified on the App in the “How it works” section of each reward offer.

Who’s initiating the reward offers/who funds them?

Utica Proud is brought to you by the City of Utica, which is also funding the Utica Halfmoons earned from reward offers.

In addition to redeeming Utica Halfmoons, will Users earn Halfmoons when shopping at my business? 

They might; we will let you know if your business is included in one of the active reward offers on the City of Utica and give you details of the reward offer terms. Note that only purchases through a User’s linked card may be eligible for earning Halfmoons, according to the reward terms which the User has joined. Halfmoons cannot be earned on Utica Proud redemption transactions. 

When will my customers receive Halfmoons for shopping at my business?

If your business is included in an active reward offer on  Utica Proud, Users that make Qualifying Purchases at your business will be awarded with Halfmoons. Utica Halfmoons will automatically be added to a User’s balance in the app once the transaction is confirmed through the third-party vendor, ‘Plaid’, and determined to be a Qualifying Purchase under the terms of that reward offer. This process can take up to 10 business days and the Utica Halfmoons should appear in their Utica Proud account once the process is complete. 

Redeeming Utica Halfmoons

How do my customers redeem Halfmoons in my business? 

They should inform you that they will be paying by redeeming Halfmoons. Once a User redeems a selected amount of Halfmoons, a notification screen will appear on the User’s app confirming the Halfmoon redemption. Additionally, you will receive a confirmation email with the details of the Halfmoons redemption and your updated balance.


What if I want to cancel a purchase that was paid for with redeemed Utica Halfmoons? 

All redemptions of Utica Halfmoons are final and irrevocable. The terms of the cancellation and any refund are agreed upon directly between you and the customer. If your customer wants to return purchased goods and get a refund, you can cancel the transaction, but your customer’s Halfmoons will not be returned to their account. Since you will be fully reimbursed for the Halfmoons redeemed by the customer, you can refund the customer in dollars. Please note that The City of Utica is not responsible for crediting or debiting Utica Halfmoons to the customer’s account or yours in connection with such a cancellation.


How do I receive payment for the Halfmoons that were redeemed at my business into my bank account?

The payment for the Halfmoons you’ve accumulated will be made to your bank account in dollars, via a check from the City of Utica paid to the name you registered in your onboarding process. The payments will be processed every 1st of the month. For any assistance on this matter please contact us at uticaproud@colu.com

How can I make sure my customer has paid with Utica Halfmoons?

Make sure the customer shows you or your staff member the confirmation screen on their phone. In addition, you will receive an email immediately upon redemption with the details of the redemption transaction and an indication of your updated redeemed Utica Halfmoons balance.

How do I enter a purchase with Utica Halfmoons into my POS?

During your onboarding process, your City of Utica representative likely guided you through the process of configuring your POS. In most cases, you can simply enter a purchase with Utica Halfmoons by selecting 'Other' as the payment option in your POS or by creating a new tender type named 'Halfmoons' and selecting this as the payment option.

Need a refresher? We’re happy to help. Just reach out to us at uticaproud@colu.com and mention the POS system that you use. 

Do I need to give a receipt for Utica Halfmoons’ redemption?

Yes. Redemption of Halfmoons in your business requires a receipt from you to your customer because an exchange of goods was made between you and your customer, and the Halfmoons are a form of payment.

Can customers pay with Utica Halfmoons online? 

No, a customer can currently redeem Utica Halfmoons only in the store itself.

Are there limitations of what goods Utica Halfmoons may be redeemed on?

There may be laws limiting the use of Utica Halfmoons to purchase certain goods, like alcohol, tobacco, lottery and pharmaceuticals. The City of Utica makes no representations with regards to those types of redemptions. If your business sells those types of goods, it is your responsibility to be familiar with and follow any applicable laws.

What to do if a customer has a problem paying with Utica Halfmoons (technical issues)?

In this case, the customer can reach out to Utica City’s support team at uticaproud@colu.com

How do I check my account balance? 

Each time a redemption of Utica Halfmoons is made in your business, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the amount you’ve received for that transaction and your current balance of Utica Halfmoons.

I have a question about my account balance/redemption payment - who do I talk to?

For any questions or assistance, please contact uticaproud@colu.com. For any questions or assistance, please send an email to uticaproud@colu.com. A City of Utica representative will reply to your inquiry within 2-3 business days. Some exceptions may apply.

What email will the Utica Halfmoons transaction notifications go to?

The confirmation notification will be sent to the email address you have provided us on the application form. For any issues or questions, please send an email to uticaproud@colu.com

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