Barter Angels is a business to business trade exchange network launched in the United Kingdom in 2010 that uses the Barter Pound, as medium of exchange. The network has a membership of about 100 businesses that buy and sell goods and services through an online marketplace 1.
Barter Angels’ main purpose is to offer additional opportunities for businesses to generate new sales and conserve cash, as well as increase profits and productivity, and expand their market share. By joining this barter network, businesses can use their spare capacity to generate Barter Pounds and spend them with other members.
Barter Angels is designed for all the businesses in the U.K., especially those offering high margin goods and services.
Organisation and History
Barter Angels was launched in March 2010 by Ruxana Mahdi as a Private Limited company.
a. The system in numbers:
As of 2013, there are 100 businesses enrolled in Barter Angels. The amount of Barter Pounds issued and the turnover generated through the network are currently unknown.
b. Function and Unit of Account
The currency used by Barter Angels is the Barter Pound, which functions as a unit of exchange. Its unit of account is the GBP: 1 Barter Pound equals 1 GBP.
c. Issuance – Backing
Barter Pound functions as a virtual currency only. It cannot be bought or sold, but can only be earned and spent by doing businesses within the barter network.
d. Funding – Business Model
Barter Angels did not receive any kind of funding from third parties. The enrolment is free of charge, however businesses must pay the joining fee (of an undisclosed amount) after the first transaction takes place. There is also a transaction fee of 5% (payable in GBP) on every purchase or sale and a monthly fee of 5 GBP and 5 Barter Pounds.
How it works in practice?
A business wanting to expand its sales channels may sign up to Barter Angels for free, and gets to look at the online marketplace to see what products or services are offered or demanded. This barter network uses Barter Pounds as means of payment instead of GBP, however this does not result in any tax advantage, as all transactions are eligible for sales tax and/or income tax. Listing goods or services in the online marketplace is also free of charge, however, after the first transaction occurs the business must pay a joining fee as well as a transaction fee accounting for 5% of the earned Barter Pounds. Every month, the business must pay a monthly fee of 5 GBP and 5 Barter Pound in order to sustain the network.