August 5, 2014
The date of this News Flash is significant. BPS Technology was established on 17 January 2014. It changed it’s name shortly thereafter and claims in their Prospectus to have signed a deal with IRTA dated June 2014. That makes sense and is doable (just). An IPO of this quality looks like 6 months hurried work to me and an IPO conceptualised and developed in one month is impossible. My best guess is that the agreement was actually done in January around the time that Ron Whitney gave them their Testimonial letter, with either a handshake deal or an MOU enough that they could go away and do their IPO. I suspect that the IRTA Board knew nothing of this until the date of this News Flash or very close to it. It’s possible that some of them didn’t even know of the deal even after I was blogging about it. With the above timeline taken into account this News Flash is one day short of a week following a series of extraordinary events. This response is a belated one almost certainly as a direct result of this blog. I blogged extensively day after day, after day including a formal complaint to the ASX in regards to serious issues to do with the IPO. Finally, this response.
IRTA UPDATE REGARDING BPS TECHNOLOGY LIMITED / BARTERCARD IPO
Not even two words into their News Alert we have a deception. This is not an UPDATE, it is an announcement, the first mention of any deal at all to the public, the first time the IRTA Members have heard about it and incredibly from what I have been led to believe, very close to the first time some of the IRTA Board Members had heard about it!
IRTA’s wholly owned subsidiary, Universal Currency Clearinghouse, Inc. (UC), has operated as a successful global inter-exchange clearinghouse platform for trade exchanges for seventeen years.
UC was conceived as a strategic advancement in the industry that would allow barter companies to trade through a common currency thereby increasing the trade volume of all participants and also operate to attract many more businesses to the barter model worldwide.
UC is perceived by some Members as the only reason they would stay in IRTA, and some report that UC was the only reason that they joined. UC is a golden goose for IRTA, for sure!
In the last seventeen years the barter software industry has grown,
I don’t think I would say that, Ron. I’d say in the last seventeen years it grew, crashed and then plateaued. IRTA’s new business partner Bartercard used to have 55,000 members but now has less than half of that! They used to be in many more countries than they currently are but have lost many of them. I’ve also seen more consolidation rather than growth. Most Trade Exchanges are continuing to trade but with difficulty and reduced turnovers. Profitability is DOWN across the board. The industry is facing serious challenges on many fronts. Why would IRTA say this and how can they justify this nonsense? Credibility is not gained by spitting out SPIN. Saying this is like saying, “Don’t worry team, the Titanic is still moving!” But it’s down, not forward.
providing barter exchanges a large choice of software platforms to choose from, many of which provide their own version of inter-exchange currencies.
This is correct. And many of them are actually quite good too! There have always been a few top-end solutions around, but now there is more than one good solution on the market.
These inter-exchange currencies in effect compete with UC, thereby further splintering the industry, which is counter to UC’s original goal of providing a true universal trading currency to unify the industry.
OMG, Wow! Am I hearing this right Ron? You shouldn’t be saying this out loud methinks.
So now the cat is really out of the bag . . . and from the Executive Director too . . . IRTA’s Members are actually COMPETITORS to their own Golden Goose, United Currency! Oops, please don’t mention that to the IRTA Members, please!
During the last seventeen years UC has leased its barter software platform from various software companies, no different than a typical barter exchange.
Right! No different . . . and the problems with this concept are – what? A commercial service offered by various companies bought and paid for in the normal course of business?
In the last four years UC has explored creating its own software and examined other cooperative arrangements with existing software companies. The first goal of this process was to find the best possible software for UC. The second goal was to provide an “API Hub” that would link all the barter software’s to the UC system, thereby fulfilling UC’s original vision of unifying the barter industry through the UC platform.
UC talked with virtually every barter software company in the world and accepted proposals from numerous software companies in the last four years.
I believe that this statement is a slippery distortion of reality. I believe that the opposite is the truth and that IRTA approached others to seek solutions to their problem. More to come on this subject in due course but this is pure poppycock!
Several proposals were pursued to the draft agreement stage and one proposal was consummated in 2013 which resulted in UC shifting its platform for a six-month “test-run.”
Oops, I don’t think that provider will be happy with these words IRTA! I believe that this statement is a deliberate and blatant porkie.
Unfortunately, that software ultimately was not chosen as a long-term platform for UC, and UC determined that it needed to re-examined other options.
Why? In time, the REAL answer to this question will become known to readers of this blog.
UC and IRTA have insisted that any prospective new software provider for UC should have the financial resources to provide ongoing first-rate technological improvements to the software so as to constantly be at the forefront of the technology curve.
Woah-hooo! This sort of talk will not impress some people, IRTA! You will have just burnt some serious bridges there Ron. I don’t think I would have said that.
In the judgment of the IRTA Global Board of Directors,
Oops . . . better be sure that the IRTA Global Board of Directors DID pass this judgement methinks, Ron! There is much more to come on this subject, readers. MUCH more!
the existing Bartercard software, combined with the financial resources resulting from a successful IPO through BPS Technology, would provide UC the best opportunity to utilize and recommend a highly advanced technology solution to the industry.
Total IRTA-speak [i.e. baloney]. Again, much more to come on this subject.
Additionally, the strict governance standards requirements of a separate independent publicly listed company would insure members’ data will always be protected.
Codswallop! The two issues are totally unrelated. The quality of thought put into this attempted justification to expose IRTA Member’s data to one of the industries least trusted and self-confessed predator is very low and the whole News Flash smacks of desperation.
As a result, the IRTA Global Board of Directors approved moving forward with a contingent contract with BPS Technology for an initial five year term with two potential additional five year terms,
Yup – a contract. Yup – 5+5+5=15.
but only if both parties elect to continue for the extra five-year terms.
That’s what a right to renew means, yes!
The agreement would become effective only if and when the BPS Technology IPO was successfully completed by August 31, 2014.
So the software is the best in the industry but only if their IPO goes ahead? Or they will use the money from the IPO to patch up their old system so that it will meet IRTA’s requirements. A lot more to come on this in the coming days, but if their software was ready; if their solution was the best; if it met IRTA’s needs they would have moved across to it prior to renewing the incumbent provider’s contract (just this year BTW). Watch this space. A red flag!
The BPS/IRTA/UC software initiative is still a work in progress.
Yes it started in 2010 and has gone around in many circles since. It still has no solution (other than the incumbent) to invisible problems (I am not aware of any from anyone I’ve spoken to), and I think I would have heard about them if there were problems. Connecting the dots, there’s clearly another motive behind all of this desperate need to change. A lot more to come on this subject too!
And because the contract is of contingent nature and does not commence without a successful IPO, IRTA and UC were waiting to receive evidence of a successful IPO before making any announcements about the project.
So the deal was done and kept secret – except for one tiny problem – IRTA’s partner atempted to list on the ASX and plastered the deal all throughout the Prospectus with great joy and abandon. IRTA, kindergarten children could work out that somebody would actually check out the claims in a multi-million dollar float in Australia. Sure it took a blogger to force your hands and generate a crisis and force you to announce it, but where was your media planning? A planned joint announcement is simple, easy and normal.
However, IRTA and UC have been advised by BPS that the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has approved its prospectus having met and passed all the strict legal and accounting requirements that comes with a listing, and the IPO is open effective today, August 5, 2014.
Balderdash! Total Baloney. First the ASIC DOES NOT approve any Prospectus. It ACCEPTS a Prospectus. Check with them. I did. Phone them and just ask.
Secondly BSP Technology is inviting the wrath of the investigators by using ASIC’s name in vain for political and marketing purposes. IRTA has done poor due diligence – you’ve been conned IRTA.
The terms and conditions of the BPS Technology agreement are similar to the draft agreements that IRTA/UC had previously negotiated with other industry software vendors, (including its existing software vendor), which for various reasons did not come to fruition.
Interesting – so that means free to IRTA? Being free makes perceived integrity an issue. A commercial contract and service where money changes hands shows above board and transparent conduct. Even if free is without backhanders/corruption it could always be seen as such.
All those software companies supported UC/IRTA’s vision of a system unified by common technology and software when they were the company being seriously considered by UC/IRTA.
Not sure of the significance here, but great anyway.
If the BPS/IRTA/UC agreement becomes operable, neither UC or IRTA will be in the software business. Per the agreement with BPS Technology, IRTA and UC will recommend and endorse the BPS software as long as BPS continues to modernize and improve the software in a manner consistent with technological changes in the industry.
IRTA-Speak. The reality is the polar direct opposite. IRTA has a contract with a company that EXPECTS IRTA to do what it says it will do – promote their software! Well Derrrrr – that’s why Trevor Dietz says he floated the company – on the basis that IRTA would . . . well of course – promote and recommend their solution! If there’s a backhander in there too for IRTA and/or any individuals involved then hey presto, I’ve very sure Bartercard will always have an excellent solution on hand, eh?
Participation on the BPS platform will not be a requirement of membership in IRTA or UC, all industry members are free to select whatever software they conclude is best for their company.
That’s not the point of major concern within the industry, Ron, it is that IRTA will be ‘encouraging’ new prospects to use their preferred vendor. Why? Because IRTA is now (or will be on 31 August 2014) contracted to do so. IRTA NOT doing so will be a breach of that contract!
Additionally, industry members will be able to seamlessly tie-into the UC platform to make UC sales and purchases, even if they are on software different than UC’s software.
Yes but that doesn’t address the clear conflict of interest issues. Don’t tell me either that it will never become compulsory to use Bartercard’s solution in the future in order to get access to certain commercial services via UC, because I can see a very likely situation where IRTA does move in this direction to force their Members onto their systems. Many people remember how Microsoft and others milked us with proprietary systems.
If the BPS IPO is not successful, UC and IRTA will continue to negotiate with all interested barter industry software companies to accomplish its goal of providing a sound platform for UC and a mechanism to unify and increase trading for the entire global barter industry.
This entire News Flash is a defensive document scribbled together in a hurry and a desperate attempt to cope with a barrage of genuine questions and concerns from legitimately irate IRTA Members who are livid that an organisation that claims to represent them has done an underhand deal with one of the least ethical companies in the industry.
It’s a poorly written, dishonest document riddled with IRTA-speak and validates the core thrust of my blogging of the past week – there is something seriously wrong within the current IRTA leadership and this Bartercard buyout of IRTA just proves it.
It’s a total disgrace.
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