US payments outfit Braintree has unveiled a mobile tool designed to help marketplace owners manage the relationship between buyers and sellers while cutting their regulatory burdens.
Marketplaces have historically stood in the middle of transactions - claiming funds from the buyer, validating the seller's bank account information and then delivering the money to them.
As well as causing administrative hassle, the process puts marketplaces in the the sights of regulators, particularly in relation to money transfer licensing laws.
Braintree says that its new service - free to existing customers - makes it easy for buyers to pay in a single touch and sellers to receive money directly on their mobile devices. More importantly, the money flow is managed by Braintree so the marketplace operator never touches the funds. Braintree even handles 1099 tax reporting.
Developers can implement the service through Braintree's API, with merchants able to customise how and when they pay their community members and specify collection fees on every transaction. For example, Marketplace allows merchants to tailor payments according to their business models either by holding payments in escrow until goods are shipped or disbursing funds immediately.
TaskRabbit, a site and mobile app that allows people to outsource their tasks to vetted people, is the first company to tap into the technology, enables buying and selling within its marketplace to happen entirely from a mobile device.
Bill Ready, CEO, Braintree, says: "We created Marketplace so that our customers can keep growing their communities with far less regulatory burden and their users, both buyers and sellers, can easily transact via their mobile devices."