This month, the USA location of the global Money 20/20 event takes place with other such events occurring in China, Asia, and Europe later this year and next. At this event, industry experts and visionaries from across the world meet to talk about the future of money, learn about new technology, and witness innovations impacting the financial industry. Even Shaquille O’Neal will be there. Yes, very cool stuff.
Just as Bitcoin and Blockchain technologies have been the disruptive “money” focus for many years, the financial technology (FinTech) market continues to change and grow by leaps and bounds. The industry seeks to find new ways to make payments, collect money, and keep it safe. One of the “hot” topics now is digital economies which presents a world without cash. We’re already seeing this on a small scale as some restaurants turn to a cashless system only accepting credit and debit cards and payment systems like Apple Pay. And, Amazon already has “Go” stores without a checkout but rather uses technology to detect what you buy and automatically deducts the amount from your account. No more waiting in line!
So how does barter play a role in all this talk about money and FinTech? Since barter is not a new concept, it doesn’t usually capture the attention of the media or excite global business leaders. Not a lot of sizzle with barter. However, technology does play an important role in making business-to-business (B2B) barter more convenient and easy to use. A simple app can now direct you to the closest barter member, search products and services, and allow you to download a QR code for a special promotion.
More importantly, although barter keeps pace with technology, it’s not driven by it. Simple trading was around well before technology – like back in 1996 when The Barter Company started. Today, technology can enhance the barter experience, but it will never replace the solid network of like-minded business owners who make the trade exchange successful. It may not be considered glamorous or revolutionary but, in some form or fashion, barter will always be an option of how people can “pay” for some products and services.