An online survey from YouGov and ACI Worldwide has found that 48 per cent of UK small to medium-sized businesses are frustrated with delayed payments reaching their business bank accounts. The research also found that delayed payments negatively impact the ability of SMEs to conduct their businesses successfully.
The findings reveal a number of ways in which delayed business payments are negatively affecting wider business success:
- 33 per cent of respondents say late payments affect their ability to meet financial obligations on time
- 17 per cent feel late payments have a negative impact on staff up-keep including salaries, expense reimbursement and recruitment
- 10 per cent note access to finance is limited for business requirements such as equipment, product development, and research
Given the negative impact of payment delays, it is not surprising that almost all small businesses surveyed (95 per cent) believe real-time payments would be useful to them. In fact, over a quarter of respondents (29 per cent) highlight faster payments as the most crucial banking service to business success in the current economic environment.
Barry Kislingbury, director of solution consulting, immediate payments at ACI Worldwide, commented: “For small businesses, delayed and unpredictable cash flow can significantly affect their success. Our research presents a great opportunity for banks working with these businesses to demonstrate the value of their real-time payments offering.
“This will not only help them grow in the medium-term, but will also strengthen the overall economy in the future.”
Among new financial products banks are now offering their customers, SMEs say that mobile and internet banking (64 per cent) have had the most positive impact on their business, according to the survey.
However, the majority of SMEs feel that many of the new products offered, such as alternative financing (86 per cent), P2P payments (89 per cent), biometric recognition (91 per cent) and contactless (86 per cent), have had minimal effect on their business so far.