Liquidity and cash flow are crucial for any merchant or small business and even more so at the last mile. Getting cash to beneficiaries assumes cash exists locally to ‘give’ to beneficiaries. Additionally, if organisations use vouchers but merchants can’t ‘cash in’ the vouchers, they are stuck and the market stalls. So while vouchers enable or allow liquidity when no cash exists, it is very limited liquidity as merchants are not able to use the vouchers to buy new stock/pay their suppliers.
Modern day bartering like BarterPay, the Brixton Pound, the Bristol pound, are more like an alternative currency than old school bartering. They allow much greater liquidity into the market without the need for cash as they allow merchants to pay suppliers using the ‘vouchers’ they received from the beneficiaries rather than needing to ‘cash out’ first.
It does move us into a whole new area of regulation, but it is interesting nonetheless.