Interview with Robert Gether,
Managing Director of
"Die Oststeirische 8-Städte Kooperation".

For several years Schwarz Druck has been producing high-quality vouchers including various security features for Eastern Styria. The 8-cities vouchers are produced on thermal paper. In addition to the hologram strip on one side, this offers further counterfeit protection. Additionally, the hologram strip emphasises the value of the voucher and adds a chic finishing touch.

Robert Gether

Mr. Gether, please tell me something about the great project you have launched.
In 2003 we developed a new regional currency – the 8-cities voucher of Eastern Styria. This is a value voucher with value levels of € 10 or € 50. It can be purchased in the towns of Bad Radkersburg, Fehring, Gleisdorf, Fürstenfeld, Feldbach, Friedberg, Hartberg and Weiz and can be used in over 550 partner businesses. These include retail businesses, large retail chains, but also many service businesses. Travel agencies, restaurants and cafés, hardware stores, fashion shops, supermarkets and many other businesses are among the voucher partners. With the vouchers, almost anything that your heart desires can be bought.

So this means that the voucher is well received and often bought?

Yes definitely. Last year we sold vouchers worth over 8 million euros. This is an increase of 1.7 million euros compared to 2020. The voucher has become a very trendy gift item in our region. Redeeming them is uncomplicated and works in all 8 towns in Eastern Styria.


Who are the main buyers of the vouchers? 

Two thirds of the buyers are companies that use the voucher as a popular Christmas gift for their employees. Additionally, the voucher is very attractive for entrepreneurs because it can be redeemed at various acceptance points. Many employees do not necessarily live in the city in which they work. So they can redeem the voucher regardless of their location. The remaining one third of the vouchers is bought by individuals – for occasions like Easter or Christmas.


How important is the voucher for the region?

We want to create incentives and establish it as a regional means of payment. This city cooperation definitely sets trends for securing regional purchasing power, 100 % of which stays in the region. Year after year, significantly more than 5 million euros in regional added value are secured.

Schwarz Druck has a leading role in this project. How does the cooperation with the company work?

We have been purchasing vouchers from Schwarz Druck for years. They are made with special thermal paper and have security specifications to make them counterfeit-proof. The haptic of the vouchers is very high quality and therefore represents value. In addition to the top product quality, I must also praise the cooperation with the company. Deadlines are always met and the communication is perfect. Schwarz Druck always thinks along with me and approaches me proactively. This is very pleasant for me, as I don’t always have to have every detail in my head. What I also appreciate a lot is the warehousing service. I have been given the opportunity to buy a large quantity of vouchers and store them at Schwarz Druck. I then call up the vouchers when I need them and they are sent to me promptly.

Nice to hear, that sounds like a loyal long-term partnership.

In fact, we have changed the supplier of our vouchers for a short period of time. This was because we got new vending machines and printers. The hardware supplier said we should work with a supplier who specialises in these vending machines and printers. In order not to take any risks, we followed the advice and chose another supplier. Two years ago Schwarz Druck contacted us and so we got together again after the specifications were checked with the new machines and a smooth process could be arranged. This is how Schwarz Druck became the supplier of our vouchers again and we were able to print the codes as well as the value level using our new equipment without any problems.

Mr Gether, I am really pleased that you can report such positive experiences and are completely satisfied with this cooperation. We wish you continued success in expanding and consolidating the regional currency with the 8-cities vouchers. A value creation that directly benefits the trade in the region.

Scroll to Top