I'll give two examples of this.

First example: I was just at a local festival and I was hungry. To get myself a burger, I couldn't buy it with cash. I had to first purchase tickets with my cash, and then exchange the tickets for the food. It was weird, since the exchange rate was $1.50 for a ticket, and a hot dog cost three tickets. The important thing to note here is that these tickets aren't real money and so they wouldn't be recognized as currency anywhere else but the festival.

Is there a technical term for these tickets? Fake money? Artificial currency?

Second example: In the episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia "The Gang Sells Out", Dennis has the brilliant idea of stimulating economic activity in Paddy's Pub by printing fake money called Paddy's dollars. The idea was to distribute Paddy's dollars out on the street to get people to come in and drink, and hopefully these people would "get hooked" and want to buy more Paddy's dollars to keep drinking at the pub.

Again, Paddy's dollars are specific to Paddy's Pub, and are not recognized anywhere else. What a technical term I can use to refer to this kind of currency?

  • 3
    Informally some people call it monopoly money, with the generic term being play money or toy currency – Huey Jun 1 '15 at 4:07
  • "COOPINS!" (Ron White) – Oldbag Jun 1 '15 at 12:40

A term used historically is scrip:

[A] term for any substitute for legal tender and is often a form of credit.

Scrips were created as company payment of employees under the truck system and also as a means of local commerce in times where regular currency is unavailable, such as remote coal towns, military bases, ships on long voyages, or occupied countries in war time.

Note that this might have negative connotations, since scrips were used rather exploitatively in many places as a means for employers to control their workers and increase their dependency on them.

A more neutral and universal term would be local currency:

[C]urrency not backed by a national government (and not necessarily legal tender), and intended to trade only in a particular area.

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The word token would also be appropriate.

The key point of difference between a token and a coin is that a coin is issued by a governmental local or national authority and is freely exchangeable for goods or other coins, whereas a token has a much more limited use and is often (but not always) issued by a private company, group, association or individual.

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  • @Hellion: Thanks for the comment. I didn't realise my link failed. It's been fixed. – Fred Jun 1 '15 at 14:29

token (BrE)/ (noun)

A piece of paper that you pay for and that somebody can exchange for something in a shop/store.

coupon/voucher (noun)

A voucher is a certificate or document that either allows you to purchase something or proves that you paid for something

  • The team also gives them vouchers for meals at sponsor restaurants. (Washington Times May 29, 2015)
    • The vouchers are redeemable at a range of stores. (Washington Post May 27, 2015) (Vocabulary.com)
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  • 1
    +, In InE, token, voucher or coupon - all are well understood. – adityasrivastav Jun 2 '15 at 15:54

I think one could also go with Private currency:

A private currency is a currency issued by a private organization, be it a commercial business or a nonprofit enterprise

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