Hub Alliance and banks explore synergies


01st-October-2006


Reported in: International Banking Systems, Oct 2006

The Hub Alliance, a grouping of four business exchange providers, is another supply chain entity that is attracting the attention of banks. The current players are Burns, Asite, Causeway and Certipost.

The Alliance has been around for 18 months and provides interoperability between the exchanges. They all link buyers and sellers for the electronic exchange of documents such as invoices, purchase orders and remittance advices. The initial focus has been on the construction industry, as this is where the customer bases have overlapped (Causeway is a specialist in this vertical). "Customer demand brought us together," says Burns' sales director, Neil Baker.

Of late, the Alliance has announced its adoption of Twist standards, no great surprise as the member companies were already working with Twist on the design and maintenance of the standards. "The hub is entirely open and non-commercial", says Baker. "There is no barrier to entry; we want to extend the marketplace." He says there is a lot of interest from other exchanges, so anticipates new additions.

No banks are involved at present but there are now "high level, frequent discussions, centred on what financial services could be added", says Baker. "We are talking to the banks about the value they could add on top of the data we collect." "Supply chain finance is the obvious one", he says, with this a hot topic for everyone at present.

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