NAB teams with Telstra for digital SME marketplace
National Australia Bank (NAB) and telco firm Telstra have partnered for an SME digital marketplace called Proquo.
Proquo will offer more than two million Australian small businesses an online platform to network, trade or swap services with each other.
Leigh O’Neill, NAB executive general manager micro and small business, says: “Small business is the backbone of the Australian economy; around 97% of all Australian businesses are small businesses and they provide a huge economic contribution to Australia’s current and future prosperity.”
Small businesses will be able to source a range of services from other providers, create briefs for the work they need, exchange quotes, manage payments and publish reviews all on one platform.
NAB says Proquo is a modern interpretation of the phrase quid pro quo (meaning ‘this for that’) and offers users the unique ability to swap or exchange their skills or services in addition to traditional monetary payments.
It was developed by NAB’s innovation hub, NAB Labs and Telstra’s Gurrowa Innovation Lab. While it is a 50/50 joint venture, it will operate as an independent entity.
Proquo will begin a pilot phase in June, with a full launch expected in July 2016.
NAB not napping
NAB is keen on partnerships and pilots.
It recently teamed with technology consulting firm Lab49 to pilot the starXchange trading platform.
The e-trading platform has been released to the market and offers automation for pre-trade, execution and post-trade activity. Clients can trade through the platform itself or through major multi-bank platforms.