Many UK businesses pay late or not at all due to difficulties in cashflow

Almost half (44%) of UK businesses avoid or delay paying bills due to issues within their cashflow. Other commonly cited reasons for non-payment of invoices include receiving an incorrect invoice (21%) and corporate bureaucracy (20%). These were some of the findings of the FinTech Barometer 2019, an annual survey conducted among 1,000 finance professionals by fintech specialist Onguard.

To combat this, finance professionals who responded to the survey said they are trying to offer a wide range of payment options (30%) to customers in order to speed up payment of outstanding invoices. Some (18%) have even begun to adopt a personal payment approach to both B2B and B2C customers which includes paying through WhatsApp, Messenger or email and 6% of companies pass late-paying accounts to debt collection agencies. However, there are still some companies (13%) which have no procedure in place to speed up payment of outstanding invoices.

Marieke Saeij, Chief Technology Officer at Onguard: “There will always be outstanding invoices. It’s something all businesses have to deal with. The key is to address it as quickly as possible, so cashflow is not affected. Today, companies endeavour to act in the customer’s best interest. If a customer has personal reasons for being unable to pay an invoice, it is usually a temporary problem. In these cases, passing the account to a debt collection agency exacerbates the problem rather than solving it. By gathering detailed information about your customers, you get to know their preferences. Do they want to receive a (giro) payment slip or would they prefer to settle the payment instantly through WhatsApp? It is essential to understand customer preferences because it allows for a personal approach. This not only improves cashflow but also increases customer satisfaction.”