Barclaycard has partnered with Silicon Valley startup Crowdz to make the process of selling and finding business services easier.
While consumer payments have been revolutionized through mobile technology, Barclays points out that things have been slower in the business-to-business (B2B) space. In fact, only one in four transactions in the supply chain are digitized. Instead, selling or finding business services usually means searching through a catalogue, making phone calls, invoicing via paper and dealing with old payment systems. That has led to more than $4 trillion in lost sales and unnecessary costs every year.
Crowdz’s online marketplace connects businesses digitally, making it easier to find suppliers and sell to other businesses. It also facilitates the selling of invoices and purchase orders, allowing for faster payments. Transactions are secure, taking “place over a tamper-proof Ethereum blockchain.”
“Recent innovation in the consumer payments area has not been enjoyed in the business-to-business payments market,” said Ed Black, director of strategy & innovation at Barclaycard, in a press release. “This is largely due to cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive processes on legacy systems, making it a very complex environment to improve. Working with Crowdz, we are pushing the boundaries to offer a state-of-the-art, digital solution for B2B payments that will enable everybody in the supply to chain to thrive.”
Barclays first started working with Crowdz through its Accelerator program powered by TechStars. Now that the program is finished, Barclaycard will continue to collaborate with Crowdz, as well as give a small group of clients access to the marketplace, to gauge its true impact on their business and fine-tune the platform to better handle real-world needs.
“Barclays is the world’s pre-eminent innovator in payments and financial solutions, and our ability to interact and work with truly distinguished mentors from Barclays in general, and from Barclaycard Payment Solutions in particular, has been amazingly beneficial in helping Crowdz to prepare for the launch of our blockchain-based business-commerce platform later this summer,” said Crowdz CEO Payson Johnston. “We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Barclaycard Payment Solutions in making our payments platform the standard in global business commerce over the years and decades ahead.”