TradeCard, a cross-border payment application service which began in Asia, is expanding its reach worldwide as its online financial payment system gets delivered to some of the world's biggest e-markets. According to TradeCard chief operating officer Guy Rey-Herme, that growth prospect stems from the company's release of a single platform that hosts 'a full suite of financial settlement products to enable buyers and sellers to track and settle virtually any type of domestic or international financial transaction in automated collaborative environment'. 'Online payment is not a 'one size fits all' business, so we built a platform that provides a wide range of flexibility for users,' Mr Rey-Herme said. TradeCard expects to receive that much-needed boost from e-markets based on a new alliance with blue-chip consultancy Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. The consultancy recently tapped TradeCard as its preferred supplier of online financial payment systems for e-markets. He said details of this partnership would be formally announced soon. Cap Gemini Ernst & Young already has a partnership with Commerce One to help create, build and connect business-to-business e-markets. Commerce One is a leading provider of software products, portals and services to create business-to-business trading communities worldwide. In Asia, Commerce One powers 12 e-markets, which it claims is the world's largest network of e-markets. Worldwide business-to-business Internet commerce is on track to become a market worth US$8.5 trillion in 2005, despite the recent economic slowdown, according to Gartner Group. The TradeCard suite will be able to customise the TradeCard system by determining transaction type to be used, setting transaction prices, and adding specific branding options. 'In addition, users will be able to draw on TradeCard's network of alliance partners, who provide important transaction supporting services, such as trade financing, credit assurance, money movement, logistics, cargo insurance and inspection,' he said. Mr Rey-Herme said TradeCard's online payment system followed the financial supply-chain, which parallelled the physical supply-chain, and closely followed the buyer's transaction activities, starting with a purchase order and ending in settlement with the seller. 'Integration of the financial supply-chain with the current procurement and fulfilment processes has become a critical element of buying and selling online,' he said. Paperless, payment-guaranteed international trade transactions - which replaces traditional letters of credit with electronic certification - are widely considered the most difficult business-to-business transactions to conduct. The TradeCard system was initially built to accommodate and process this complex, cross-border payment at a US$100 service fee for each transaction of up to US$100,000 since November 1999.