To deliver routing, pricing and payment automation for freight forwarders, Mastercard is partnering with Stargo. With Mastercard’s commercial payment solutions and Stargo’s price optimization engine, freight companies can benefit from a more efficient procure-to-pay process, Mastercard announced at Money20/20 Europe.
“Mastercard is committed to helping businesses pay and get paid in more efficient ways” Chris Fendley, senior vice president for enterprise partnerships at Mastercard, said in the announcement. “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 payment solutions to the global freight industry.”
The cost of today’s process inefficiencies represents $34.4 billion annually for the global container shipping industry, according to Drewry Supply Chain Advisors. These costs are largely due to low levels of automation for booking, invoicing and reconciliation and the predominance of cash, bank transfers and checks for payment. In addition, freight forwarders often have to extend credit to their customers in order to facilitate shipments.
However, by combining Stargo’s route and price optimization platform with Mastercard’s technology, freight forwarders can offer their customers a fully automated service from quote request to payment settlement. Companies within the global freight ecosystem who leverage this integrated solution will benefit from faster and guaranteed payment — avoiding errors and saving money, according to Mastercard.
“Stargo uses AI and optimization algorithms to compare fast-changing prices from tens of thousands of data points in real-time,” Stargo Founder And Chief Executive Joel Sellam said in the announcement. “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.”
The news comes as 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 Solutions Chief Executive Officer Douglas Braun said the partnership “has the potential to deliver significant value, including more efficient payment processing for our customers.”