Below, Insider Intelligence analysts Adriana Nunez and Tyler Van Dyke recap a session at this year's Money 20/20 event.
Why trucking payments are critical to the health of the economy
Session name: "Remapping Payments for the Trucking Industry"
J.P. Jolly, Global Co-Head of Corporate and Ecommerce Sales and Solutions, JPMorgan (moderator)
Zack Miller, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Tearsheet Studios (moderator)
Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, Uber
Renata Caine, Senior Vice President, International, Strategy and Planning, Marqeta
Atif Siddiqi, Founder and CEO, Branch
Despite being the backbone of the global economy, the trucking industry faces substantial payment issues: On average, truckers get paid 60–90 days after shipment delivery, according to Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight—Uber's app-based solution, whose service matches carriers with shippers and operates similarly to its ride-sharing and food-delivery businesses.
We're in the middle of a growing logistics issue: There's three times more demand for goods than there was 18 months ago, and there aren't enough truck drivers to meet it—making improving the payments experience of existing truckers even more important.
Uber Freight tapped advanced programming interface issuer-processor Marqeta and personal finance and technology firm Branch to help truckers on its platform get paid faster and to develop other transaction innovations for the nearly 4 million truckers who operate in the US. Uber Freight also acquired logistics solutions provider Transplace, which on average processes $17 billion in trucking payments annually.
Using Marqeta's infrastructure and analytics capabilities, Branch developed a digital wallet for Uber Freight's truckers that lets them get paid 2 hours after proof of delivery and gives them instant access to their funds.
The panelists also discussed how Uber Freight's tie-up with Branch and Marqeta is part of a bigger trend of bringing financial services to industries that have historically been overlooked or underserved.
What This Means:
The trucking industry is in need of digital disruption, and providers like Uber Freight, Marqeta, and Branch are developing payment solutions that better serve this critical market.
Eliminating transaction friction by enabling near-instant payment can perhaps make trucking a more attractive industry for workers, especially as the economy struggles to overcome a dwindling supply of truckers: According to Ron, the average age of a trucker today is 55—20 years ago, it was 35.
And unlike industries that have in some ways been cannibalized by technology—like in-person checkout in retail, for instance—trucking still relies on a human workforce, making it imperative for companies to bring much-needed digital solutions to market to meet those workers' needs.