The property instinct is very strong in Western culture: we want to have our house, our car, our bicycle, our clothes, our tent… However, this instinct sometimes clashes with the need to manage our resources effectively. The Internet, which has changed the world so much in recent years, may also be changing our habits and customs and, at the same time, being promoted by what has begun to be called the “sharing economy” or “The sharing economy” in English. . The sharing economy on the Internet basically refers to the growing trend and opportunity to share “things” on the Internet. Make no mistake, it is not in most cases charitable acts, but rather the opposite: enormous benefits can be achieved by sharing on the Internet while “valuing” objects, goods or possessions that would otherwise be underused . A perfect example of good management.
This trend translates into the rise of websites such as Airbnb for “sharing” apartments, TaskRabbit (to share time), the car (, the Wifi (Fon), hotels (HotelTonight) sports team (Uniiverse) and many others. The list of possibilities is enormous. In Spain we also have companies with identical models. In reality, these companies operate a marketplace model in which two or more people get in touch to share an underused asset belonging to one of them. The business opportunity created by the sharing economy on the Internet is extraordinary. First, because the possible verticals are many: toys, sports equipment, books, clothing, computer equipment, etc. and second, because this new trend will promote a series of specialized support services. One of these services, especially relevant, is payment management.
Payment management on the Internet is an extraordinarily competitive sector where Paypal is undoubtedly the great dominant player. However, the payment management of this type of marketplaces presents singularities that other types of actors can capitalize on. The BrainTree company, for example, has launched a product that facilitates transactions by fully integrating technology into the marketplace and greatly customizing the process (terms, payment to various providers, mobile payment…). BrainTree focuses on providing a complete solution to the management of collections and payments so that the marketplace in question can almost completely forget about financial aspects. BrainTree’s commitment to the “sharing economy” seems to be working according to its data: the company, born in 2007 and initially financed by its founder, confirms to manage 20,000 million dollars in transactions per year.
PayPal, of course, and other startups like Stripe are also racing to create products that simplify online payment and collection management. The foreseeable growth of e-commerce and marketplaces will undoubtedly boost a market that is going to need a lot of technology and in which there is still a great deal of room for innovation. It is possible that, in a few years, the annoying task of integrating payment gateways as it is done today will be completely obsolete. Meanwhile, in a small country called Spain, the two big banks have invested in mobile payment startups: BBVA in SumUp and Banco Santander in iZettle. Will we see future investment from these banks in payment technologies that facilitate this “new sharing”?