TrustSeal in BBC News Online, Technology of Business

Sharing Economy UK’s TrustSeal featured in a BBC News Online article on peer-to-peer sharing economy tech platforms by

The article features a section on trust issues in the sharing economy:

Peer-to-peer “sharing economy” tech platforms have mushroomed in the last decade, but very few have rivalled Airbnb or Uber in size, largely because consumers have found them difficult to trust. So how are tech firms rising to this challenge?

Trust issues

But many start-ups have fallen by the wayside in this nascent market, unable to engender enough trust and confidence in such novel services, or reach scale quickly enough to survive the cut-throat competition.

“The biggest challenge for peer-to-peer brands is trust,” says Richard Laughton, chief executive of car sharing platform easyCar Club and chair of trade body Sharing Economy UK.

“People on both sides of a rental need to be confident that their assets will be looked after and their safety guaranteed.”

Technology is making the vetting of users easier, he argues, enabling techniques such as video verification and social media profile analysis to supplement the established rating systems.

And smart “internet of things” sensors could be “built seamlessly into the rental process to provide accurate feedback on how assets are being used,” he adds.

Kitemark schemes, such as Sharing Economy UK’s TrustSeal, also help to engender confidence, says Mr Laughton.

Read the full article here:

How Can Cities Leverage the Potential of the ‘Sharing Economy’?

Sharing Economy UK contributed to a World Economic Forum #sharingcities report, highlighting the TrustSeal which is the world’s first kitemark for sharing economy organisations.

The new paper on Collaboration in Cities: From Sharing to ‘Sharing Economy’, identifies and answers key questions for cities about the sharing economy.

· What does the sharing economy mean for cities? Who are the actors of the sharing economy? What are the drivers of sharing? What is being shared in cities? How can cities share? What are the issues and challenges in the sharing economy? How should sharing be regulated?

· Case studies from cities around the world – including Seattle, London, New York, Melbourne, São Paulo, Kigali, Seoul, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Kamaishi – show how sharing is transforming citizens’ lives, boosting economies, social cohesion and the environment.

· The complete paper is available here

The paper, mandated by the World Economic Forum Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative Steering and Advisory Committee, explores opportunities and challenges of the sharing economy in cities by highlighting examples and solutions from cities around the world.

The paper also explores sharing-economy ideas that span multiple cities:

· “Co-City” protocol is exploring forms of shared, collaborative and polycentric urban governance.

· Sharing Cities Alliance organizes summits, seminars and a knowledge base for cities to draw on.

· Trust Seal is the first kitemark for sharing-economy companies, proving they adhere to good practice.

Read the full press release here

Second wave of innovators win ‘TrustSeal’ of approval

Sharing Economy UK, the trade body representing and championing UK’s sharing economy businesses, has announced the latest recipients of its ‘TrustSeal’ – the world’s first kitemark for the industry.

Home sharing platform Airbnb, ticket exchange StubHub, pet-sitting and travel website TrustedHousesitters and car rental company HiyaCar are the second round of firms to successfully meet the TrustSeal eight principles of Good Practice.  This followed a rigorous application process and scrutiny by an advisory panel of independent, industry experts.

The TrustSeal is an independently awarded kitemark that gives customers confidence that each platform upholds important standards to protect consumers online in key areas including help and support, secure payments and data protection.

Chair of Sharing Economy UK and CEO of Easy Car, Richard Laughton, said:

“For the sharing economy to reach its full potential, it must continue to build trust amongst a growing customer base and that’s the objective of the TrustSeal.

“Congratulations to all those awarded today – they have shown they have the services and processes in place to uphold the highest standards of customer safety. Our ambition now is for more companies in the sector to follow in their footsteps.”

Alison Hastings, communications expert and member of the TrustSeal Advisory Panel said:

“The Trust Seal is the world’s first kitemark for the sharing economy and shows an industry willing to step up proactively to address issues of trust.

“As usage of platforms grows, the TrustSeal promises to be an even more important tool to help customers make smart decisions, feel safe and secure when they participate in sector.”