COMPANIES short of cash or seeking new business can barter their goods and services on the Anbell Trade Exchange (ATX), a new cashless trading platform.
What's more, members may access over a 100 companies on the exchange locally, and will be able to trade with thousands more internationally as of today, when accreditation by the International Reciprocal Trading Association (IRTA) kicks in.
Over 100 trade exchanges are operated by the IRTA in over 25 countries.
Bartering enables companies to sell their products and services for credit, which can be used to pay for items offered over the participating exchanges.
"We have moved from a one to one scenario, to one to thousands, and at the same time, new clients are brought to customers," said ATX Chairman Andrew Pairman. "We help them to increase their cash flow, and more importantly, we help them to improve the standard of living for themselves, their staff and their families," he added.
The ATX has been in operation since January, but was officially launched on Friday. Pairman actually used the trade exchange to acquire banners from the National Outdoor Agency for decorations at the event last week.
Advertising, transportation services, hotel accommodation, auto repair, office supplies and magazine subscription are among the over 50 categories of goods and services offered locally.
Members are assigned a trade broker who assists the purchasing member by providing a list of the companies that produce the products or services needed and prices in trade dollars. The broker also lets members know how much credit they have, or debit, if they have bought more than they have sold up to that point.
Not everything can be bartered, such as rent and electricity, but using the exchange also enables members to save cash for these essential items, according to IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney.
He believes the 14 year-old Universal Currency Clearinghouse (UC) — the online platform for all the trading exchanges — will especially benefit the tourism sector here.
"UC does enormous amount of hotel and hospitality business," said Whitney. "So the Universal Currency platform will do wonders in helping bring new travellers to Jamaica."