What Uber, Airbnb, Venmo, and business payments have in common

Uber, AirBnB, and Venmo are some of the most innovative and talked about companies of the past decade. Billions of investment dollars, millions of users, and a ton of media attention have skyrocketed these startups, uprooting the dated industries they were built to disrupt.

But, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of startups and entrepreneurs across the US. Why is it that these three companies have taken off in a way that not many others have, or could ever have done?

What do a rideshare company, a tourism marketplace, a digital wallet, and business payments have in common?

All of these platforms, instead of interacting with their users directly, highlight and foster the relationship between the users themselves. Driver and rider, host and guest, sender and receiver, payer and payee. This is also known as a relationship-based model.

Allowing both sides of a transaction to connect without a “middleman” builds trust, ensures accountability, provides transparency, and optimizes the user experience.

As a part of their services, relationship-based businesses control transactions by providing a seamless platform to connect both parties. They connect bank accounts through their apps and websites, consolidating all the steps in between.

But that’s not all. These businesses are centered around the customer and creating lasting and memorable relationships, rather than one-time transactions by providing a frictionless experience. The smoother the ride (pun intended), the more likely a user is to get a good review, and for the company to gain a repeat user.

Customers have easy access to the business application via their devices, with no interference from the service provider required. Have you ever spoken to an Uber employee that wasn’t your driver, unless there was an issue? What about AirBnB? Generally, the answer is no.

But while they’re focused on bringing people and businesses together, how does a company like this ensure they’re building relationships, and not just creating one-off experiences?

The buyer’s journey

Relationship-based businesses are customer-focused. They’re invested in building trust, seeking feedback, and developing accordingly. To secure an ongoing relationship, customers have to be persuaded to make an account, enter their banking info, and, for B2B (business-to-business) and P2P (peer-to-peer) businesses like Veem and Venmo, users have to be able to convince their partners and friends to join too.

Although that sounds like quite the marketing investment, it’s effective to the point that it’s become the ideal business model. And while it’s not so far off from the typical consumer decision journey, it does make customer loyalty a lot smoother.

So, what makes relationship-based businesses so attractive to users in the first place?

Not only do they fill a need, they’re also innovative in a way that, without them, the process would seem absurdly inconvenient. Be honest, when’s the last time you took a cab?


Relationship-based businesses are disruptive in their spaces. They provide long-awaited solutions to problems in order to help consumers keep up with the pace of modern business and society. The customer feels heard by these companies, and has control in terms of payment options, service scheduling, and service provider. Only companies, and business models, that value transparency and customer engagement above all else can provide this kind of service.

With Uber, customers no longer chance hailing a cab. The rider is connected directly with the service provider, the driver. Neither party deals with Uber itself aside from connecting to each other via their platform. A ride is scheduled and the driver is tracked. The reputation of the driver and rider is at stake if anything in unsatisfactory.

With Airbnb, travelers can proactively and transparently find lodging, no longer at the mercy of a hotel, or their lack of accountability, or risk of non-vacancy. Customers get to price different options, secure their ideal spot, connect with their hosts, and review their stay based on several factors. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than having a horrible experience and no voice to express it.

With these companies, we see transparency and accountability like never before. There’s advocacy for both sides of a transaction, tracking and digital receipts, and the ability to interact with the business and share experiences.

We’ve gone from “the customer is always right” to never having to argue. When the customer is put first and never left in the dark, businesses save from making amends.

These businesses recognize that there shouldn’t be anything obstructing the customer’s view of their transaction. Whether tracking the arrival of a ride, a meal, or a payment, relationship-based businesses are keeping the customer informed and involved.

These are networks used to their utmost potential.

No intermediaries

Intermediaries are middlemen. Plain and simple. Relationship-based businesses handles transactions at both ends, therefore removing the need for middleman from the equation. These services connect customers to customers. Without any intermediaries, the process that these services provide is faster, more transparent, and cost-effective.

What makes relationship-based businesses, such as Uber, Airbnb, Venmo, and Veem so secure is their commitment to both sides of a transaction. This means they ensure the security, reliability, and identity of both parties.

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Users input their banking information once. There’s no worry whether the payee can pay. And if there are any issues, customers are able to identify them quickly and connect with the company. Each user is verified, so the risks involved with sending money are gone. And when the payer is satisfied, the transaction is complete.

Now, that’s all fine and good, and you now understand the value that Uber, Airbnb and Venmo offer that investors and customers have taken advantage of. But, what do B2B payments have to do with this?

Business-to-business payments

While Uber, Airbnb, and Venmo all work to help optimize everyday peer-to-peer transactions within the sharing economy, how have business payments developed with relationship-based services?

By developing a network of exchange that stretches globally.

A huge part of business relationships has to do with payments.

It’s more than just transactions, though. Payments should nurture global business relationships. Beyond the individual payment, there’s a relationship worth nurturing between the payer and payee and the network of connections that facilitate their business.

Veem allows businesses to send payments to the people they need to, without getting in the way. There’s no fine print or confusing contracts. It’s a one-time sign up, and businesses can start sending. This relationship-ship based model is helping businesses save in ways they never knew they could.

How does it work?

Businesses suffer when sending payments and often spend too much when sending money internationally. When a bank wire is sent, intermediary banks, those in between the sender and receiver that process and relay the payment, often take a chunk of the payment. Veem removes the need for intermediary banks by taking over the wire transfer process. That’s more money in the bank.

Customers and businesses are no longer at the mercy of corporations. Instead, Airbnb, Uber, Venmo, and Veem connect both sides of a transaction or transfer of assets, removing the middleman from the equation. This makes the processes that these services provide much faster, more transparent, and cheaper.

Find out for yourself. We’ll handle your business payments so you can focus on the relationships that matter most.

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* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.