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SMEs must manage cash flow better to survive after the reopening

Scarred by the lockdown, suppliers now want payment upfront while customers demand extended terms: a problem is brewing in B2B payments and receivables.


As businesses around the world emerge from lockdowns and hope to rebuild their revenues back towards normal, there’s a new alternative data source to track every step of the journey.

Sidetrade, a provider of artificial intelligence-driven software for companies to accelerate their receivables, has a tracker for overdue payments from other businesses. It draws on a data lake of 26 million invoices, in aggregate worth €54 billion, submitted between 3.7 million businesses across six European countries: France, UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

That group includes all the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

The good news is that the percentage of invoices more than 10 days overdue, which rose alarmingly during the lockdown as companies strove to conserve cash, peaked at around the end of April.

As people go back to work, we see businesses ready to make purchases again. We don’t see why any sale should be lost for want of payment terms - Lara Gilman, iwoca

In most countries, it was clearly decreasing by the beginning of June.

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