Mastercard partners start-up to bring AI to freight payments
June 19, 2018
At this month’s Money 20/20 in Amsterdam, Mastercard announced it was partnering with Israeli start-up Stargo, a company leveraging artificial intelligence in the freight industry, to deliver routing, pricing and payment automation for freight forwarders.
By integrating Mastercard commercial payments with Stargo’s price optimisation engine, players in the freight industry will be able to use a more efficient procure-to-pay process that delivers end-to-end transparency and reconciliation.
According to Drewry Supply Chain Advisors, the cost of today’s process inefficiencies represent $34.4bn annually for the global container shipping industry. This is largely due to low levels of automation for booking, invoicing and reconciliation and the predominance of cash, bank transfer and cheques for payment. In addition, freight forwarders often have to extend credit to their customers to facilitate shipments.
“Mastercard is committed to helping businesses pay and get paid in more efficient ways,” said Chris Fendley, senior vice president at Mastercard. “Following successful implementations in the travel and insurance sectors, we look forward to partnering with Stargo to bring the security and convenience of our digital payments to the global freight industry.”
By combining Stargo’s route and price optimisation platform with Mastercard technology, reach and experience in facilitating global business payments, freight forwarders will be able to offer their customers a fully automated service from quote request to payment settlement. Companies within the global freight ecosystem who leverage this integration should benefit from faster and guaranteed payment, avoiding errors and saving money.
“Stargo uses AI and optimisation algorithms to compare fast-changing prices from tens of thousands of data points in real time,” said Joel Sellam, founder and chief executive at Stargo. “By working with Mastercard, we can offer our customers a fully integrated, global booking and payment experience that allows them to operate at much higher speed, with peace of mind.”
Stargo recently integrated its service with BluJay Solutions, a supply chain software and services provider for the global freight industry. A pilot involving the three companies is planned to launch later this year.
“BluJay strives to provide the technology and tools our customers need to manage the complexity and growth within the global supply chain,” said Douglas Braun, chief executive officer at BluJay Solutions. “In view of that, BluJay is honoured to work with Stargo and Mastercard on this leading-edge industry partnership that has the potential to deliver significant value including more efficient payment processing for our customers.”