Tag Archives: trade exchange

Excitement mounts over upcoming IRTA Convention!

The International Reciprocal Exchange Association (IRTA), the premier association of the commercial “barter” industry, has been for more than forty years promoting the interests of small and medium sized enterprises by assisting its member trade exchanges to provide them with liquidity and effective opportunities for moneyless trading.

Since 2005, IRTA has been reaching out to the wider grassroots community of researchers, developers, and organizers of private currencies and complementary exchange mechanisms and has broadened its advocacy to include them.

The upcoming 34th Annual International Convention of the IRTA in Las Vegas will provide a unique opportunity for social entrepreneurs and monetary activists to further consolidate programs of cooperation with the well-established commercial “barter” sector of the moneyless exchange movement. The Convention will be held from Sept. 19 thru 21 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.

Along with IRTA President and experienced trade exchange operator Annette Riggs, and Rob van Hilten, Executive Director of QOIN, a consultancy for community currencies, I will be a panelist in a Saturday session (September 21) titled Understanding Diverse Exchange System Models: From Bitcoin and Berkshares, to Transparent Credit Clearing Networks. This session will consider three basic topics of discussion:

Bitcoin, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The benefits and limitations of cash-based local currencies.

The emerging global exchange network.

There is still time to register for this important event. You can get details about the convention program and secure your place by visiting the IRTA website at http://www.irta.com/.

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Complimentary Currency Systems: Richard Logie at TEDxLeeds

Richard Logie has been for a long time one of the leaders in the commercial  barter industry. As owner and operator of The Business Exchange in Scotland and developer of GETS, a moneyless trading platform, Richard has a wealth of knowledge about moneyless exchange in general. His presentation below provides a valuable learning tool for anyone, either in the entrepreneurial realm or at the grassroots level, who is starting or operating a currency or exchange system.

Please pay particular attention to the way in which Richard determines the credit lines to be provided to members’ accounts, the list of advantages that membership in a credit clearing exchange provides, and the elements that need to be standardized in order for exchanges to be effectively networked together.–t.h.g.

Vermont Business Exchange, an Emerging Force for Local Trade

The localization of an economy requires local control of credit. That can be achieved by participation in a local credit clearing association. There are many such business-to-business (B2B) exchanges that provide this service on a for-profit basis. Now the lines between for-profit and non-profit are beginning to blur as credit clearing services are teaming up with existing non-profit business organizations. One example is the Vermont Business Exchange which is now being launched in association with Vermont Business for Social Responsibility.

Watch this video of a recent interview in which Amy Kirschner explains the project history, vision, and current status.

Modern Trade and Barter – How It Works

IMS is one of the leading trade exchange operators in the United States. It’s a publicly traded company that has in about 24 years grown from one local trade exchange into a network of more than a dozen trade exchanges scattered around North America. The IMS website contains a five minute video that does a pretty good job of explaining how commercial trade exchanges work. View it here.

Credit Clearing Already a Proven Means of Exchanging Goods and Services

People often ask me how the credit clearing process that I advocate might be established and where existing successful models are to be found. I point them to the commercial “barter” sector, the 75 year old WIR Bank in Switzerland, and a few exchange alternatives that have been emerging spontaneously from the grassroots. Of course, what these trade exchanges offer is not “barter” at all, but credit clearing.

Significant as it is, the commercial trade exchange business is not well known because it does not yet involve consumers or employees to any great extent. It services businesses, mostly small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), and mostly at the retail level or in the service sector. Credit clearing and private currencies are important elements in the economy at any time, but they become even more necessary during times of financial disruption such as the current one.

On June 25 Sky News in the UK did a live interview with one of the leaders in the trade exchange industry, Wayne Sharpe, the charismatic founder and chief executive of Bartercard, International. Sharpe discussed the role that his company, and others like it, plays in revitalising the UK economy by helping businesses to “reserve cash, reduces costs and increase sales and profitability through a sophisticated system of barter.” Here is a transcript of that interview taken from the Bartercard website. (Thanks to Bob Meyer of Barter  News for alerting me to this report). – t.h.g

Why cash isn’t king – The flexible friend that can help businesses beat recession:

Bartercard works like a credit card, but transacting by clients’ own goods and services via its own unique Trade Pound ‘currency’. On joining, account holders receive a transaction card and an interest-free line of credit. When spare capacity is sold, members’ accounts are credited with trade pounds. When purchases are made, trade pounds are deducted. Bartercard allows members to trade without the need to spend valuable cash or engage in a direct swap.
Given recent global economic developments, Bartercard is proving totally relevant. It’s phenomenal growth in the UK market over recent months is testament to this. One reason for the rapid growth is that Bartercard charges success-based fees; charging a small commission on each trade so, if it doesn’t produce results, costs to its members are negligible.

Another reason for Bartercard’s success is the support it provides the beleaguered SME sector. SMEs are the lifeblood of the British economy; accounting for over 60% of domestic GDP yet, in the main, they have been overlooked by government.

Lavish financial support from government has been reserved for selected big businesses and in particular, the banking sector. Instead of using the money to stimulate the economy, the banks have devoted these huge resources to bolstering balance sheets and improving share price. The banks are failing to lend even to those SMEs with solid foundations and a great track record but which need financial support in extremely difficult trading conditions.
Bartercard is providing a real solution. More than 80% of its members are SME’s and Bartercard aims to generate 10% in additional sales for each and every member business, then use that trade to offset regular cash expense, thus improving cash profit by up to 20%.

With over 21 million transactions and more that $15 Billion in trade volume worldwide since inception Bartercard is a proven method to increase SME;s trade.
“I have lived in the UK for over 7 years now and I know and feel for the SME’s – they are the heart of this nation and we will help them beat the recession in any and every way we can” says the eternally upbeat Mr. Sharpe.

It seems the Sky is the limit.