How United’s Escrow 2.0 enables Marvinet’s global B2B trading platform

In our digitalised world, consumers can buy online, pay effortlessly and get their goods delivered to their doorstep. Marvinet’s revolutionary global B2B trading platform offers the same convenience to businesses buying in bulk. Exponentially harder to do, given the large, cross-border transactions and shipments involved. How do they do it? Part of the answer is transaction management through United’s rolling escrow solution.

Marvinet is an up-and-coming online B2B platform where manufacturers worldwide can showcase their goods, and retail businesses worldwide can do their bulk purchasing online. Whether they need a new line of trendy shoes, the latest smartphones or 10,000 washing machines. With transactions this big, the stakes for all parties are high. Payment up front or on delivery, the alternatives that consumer platforms offer, would leave either the buyer or the seller at risk. Marvinet needed a smart and cost-efficient solution that eliminates these risks by ensuring that money changes hands when both parties have met their requirements. A solution that United could deliver.

Licensed escrow agent

As an FCA-licensed escrow agent, United has a strong track record in facilitating complex cross-border transactions for its clients through escrow. Traditionally, escrow involves an independent party, the escrow agent, holding the buyer’s payment in a dedicated account that neither buyer nor seller can access. The escrow agent liaises with all parties and confirms that they have met all their requirements before releasing assets and transferring the money in the escrow account to the seller. Escrow is a solution that can be set up quickly for major transactions, like real estate sales and M&A deals.

Escrow 2.0

Marvinet’s platform, however, performs large transactions on an ongoing basis. Rather than set up separate accounts for each, United has created a digital, rolling escrow environment for Marvinet that handles all these transactions quickly and securely: Escrow 2.0.

But that’s not all. United’s Escrow 2.0 offers added risk protection in the form of AI-based counterparty screening. All transaction parties are screened by United with compliance tool Pascal. Using AI, Pascal searches company registers, sanctions/PEP lists and publicly available media to identify and report potential compliance issues. After initial screening, parties can be continuously monitored as long as the business relationship exists. This offers Marvinet and all its users the assurance that they remain compliant with international KYC, CDD and AML regulations.

Hassle-free B2B commerce

Marvinet and its users are delighted with United’s solution, says Marvinet’s founder Fabio Marcucci:  “All companies operating in B2B are constantly looking for new counterparties to boost their turnover. This significantly increases the risks, especially in international transactions and through marketplaces that give no guarantee on the outcome of the purchase or sale. With our integrated escrow deposit, international logistics and notarised contract between the parties, we make every transaction risk-free. Pascal’s screening reports also provide valuable input for our logistics partner AlpiWorld, responsible for quality control, warehousing and transports. United’s Escrow 2.0 really takes the financial hassle out of online B2B commerce.”

Seamless cooperation

Alex Smotlak, director of United UK and responsible for this unique solution, is proud to support Marvinet in this way. “Our service concept is to become an extension of our client’s team, working seamlessly with them to make their business thrive. It’s a pleasure to work with Marvinet’s people and smooth their path to success. To them, financial admin is a distraction. For us it’s core business.”

Custom solution

Alex sees plenty of further potential for Escrow 2.0 in the platform economy. “I’m convinced Escrow 2.0 is right for other clients in this space, too. It’s just a matter of tailoring it to suit their unique needs. But that’s precisely what we love to do: spar with clients and create a custom solution that’s just right for them.”

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