Connect with us

Business

The keys to the kingdom: three unexpected ways in which tackling slow payments could benefit the entire economy

Published

on

The keys to the kingdom: three unexpected ways in which tackling slow payments could benefit the entire economy

By Paul Christensen, CEO at Previse

The past year has been characterised by what has arguably been a time of unprecedented political and economic uncertainty in the UK. Two scheduled Brexit departures – and then no departure – and the ensuing general election, have all contributed towards mounting challenges and opportunities alike for businesses.

This period of flux has touched organisations of every size, and none has been immune. However, there has been one opportunity for change that has risen out of this uncertainty that deserves attention. The issue of slow payments in the B2B world is nothing new, with the ramifications for SMEs receiving well deserved attention this year. But now, with the turbulence that lies ahead for Britain and beyond, we are presented with a unique opportunity to take ownership of the problem and at the same time, bring much needed benefits to the wider economy, including businesses big and small, that could help weather the uncertainty that lies ahead.

Here are three ways in which solving the slow payments problem could reap benefits for the wider economy:

  1.   Employment would rise 

If we were to alleviate the problem of slow payments in the B2B world even slightly, employment would likely rise significantly. In 2018,75% of businesses had no employees other than the owners. Many of these businesses could grow and expand, but are unable to as their cash flow is not reliable enough to commit to employing another person.

For many start-ups and smaller sized businesses that are in the process of actively expanding their workforce, they may find themselves pushed into a corner, forced to turn down business that is beyond their capacity without the additional resources. It goes without saying that this limits their long-term prospects, but, more importantly, creates a vicious cycle of stagnation in entrepreneurial growth – something the UK does not need in a time when the city’s status as a financial and tech hub is under threat.

  1.   We could create a whole new category of insurance

If machine learning were harnessed to facilitate instantaneous B2B payments, this would create a whole new category of insurance. Unlocking value in data through artificial intelligence is becoming one of the biggest transformations in this sector.

Technology, trained on trillions of dollars of real invoice spending, could precisely quantify dilution risk, i.e. the contingent risk that a large company won’t pay an invoice for legitimate reasons such as it being incorrect or fraudulent, or the goods were not correctly delivered.

Not only would this help to solve the slow payments problem, it would open up a whole new category of insurance in doing so. More insurance categories would also mean more opportunities for employment. A double win for the economy.

  1.   It could help businesses meet their corporate responsibility goals

Effective business management is now about much more than simply trying to make a profit and provide dividends to shareholders. For businesses to succeed in our evermore interconnected world they must have a 360-degree purpose that engages with all stakeholders sustainably. Paying suppliers – particularly SMEs – is a vital part of that purpose.

Doing so simply by speeding up existing payment processes would be prohibitively expensive, while traditional SCF programmes face the administrative scalability challenges of requiring the invoices to first be approved. Large corporate buyers are in desperate need of tools which can enable them to meet their obligations to their supplier base without compromising their profitability.

Instant payments, on the other hand, could offer an easy solution for businesses to pay suppliers immediately, and in doing so, help them move closer to meeting corporate, economic and governance-related objectives.

The combined effect of these three factors could lead to huge economic growth which is being held back by the issue of slow payments. Instant payment solutions could inject all of this extra capital into the economy, as well as freeing up even more money which is stuck in the supply chain. If slow payments were a thing of the past, it would make all of this capital available to the SMEs who are waiting and chasing for it. With so much liquidity stuck in the cash flow of small businesses, instant payments can allow SMEs to grow to their full potential, free of the burden of late payments.

Business

Half of UK’s finance sector confirms diversity should be more of a priority in the workplace, with calls for action across the industry

Published

on

Half of UK’s finance sector confirms diversity should be more of a priority in the workplace, with calls for action across the industry 1

Almost half (45%) of Britain’s banking/financial services workforce think their employer could do more when it comes to diversity, according to a report from UK-based tech-for-good developer, Culture Shift.

Despite 74% of employees in the sector confirming that working somewhere with a diverse workforce is an important factor for their happiness at work, almost half (46%) think diversity seems like less of a priority in the workplace currently, with 52% stating it should be more of a priority. The same report also uncovered that 53% of employees in banking and financial services said their employer makes token gestures that feel surface level when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion have long been key factors for ensuring a positive and happy work environment, however the events of recent months, such as the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, have resulted in these climbing up the agenda of many employers.

“The insights on diversity and inclusion uncovered in Culture Shift’s report really do resonate with me, as they shine a light on the lack of true representation across the UK’s positions of power. Employees are calling for their employers to focus on recruiting people from more diverse backgrounds, while providing training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion, confirming action really does need to be taken.

“If organisations want to create a happy work environment then they should take heed, as most employees confirmed working somewhere with a diverse workforce was an important factor to their happiness at work,” comments Olive Strachan MBE, founder of Olive Strachan Resources Ltd, global business woman and diversity and inclusion specialist.

The research found that fostering a diverse workforce representative of reality is a key factor for creating a positive culture and a key component for most employees’ happiness at work. With many calling for more to be done when it comes to ensuring that not only do under-represented groups have a presence in businesses, but also a seat at the table and a voice, there are various factors organisations should be keeping front on mind whilst planning for the future.

On fostering a diverse workforce, representative of reality, the research revealed that:

  • 80% of employees in banking/financial services said working at a company with a strong ethical background was important to them, with 84% stating that working at a company with a good reputation for treating employees fairly was integral to their happiness at work
  • Almost one-fifth (18%) said their employer could improve workplace culture by recruiting more people from BAME backgrounds, while one-quarter (25%) said by providing training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion
  • 15% said their employer could improve its culture and be more inclusive by recruiting more people from LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) backgrounds
  • More than one-quarter (26%) said their employer could improve its culture by recruiting more people of varying abilities; while 21% said by recruiting a better gender balance
  • One-quarter (25%) said their employer could improve its culture by recruiting more people of different religions/faiths
  • 15% said their employer should prioritise the promotion of people from minority and marginalised backgrounds to improve its workplace culture

“To create an empowering culture for all employees, it’s absolutely essential for organisations to be diverse, inclusive and showcase true representation across all levels of the business. Not only do recruitment processes need to be inclusive, but promotion opportunities too, and employees from marginalised backgrounds need to be supported through their career, as well as other employees.

“We firmly believe this is an incredibly important conversation to have and the insights uncovered in our research solidify that we’re not alone in believing more action needs to be taken by those at the top. It’s a shift that won’t happen overnight, but there needs to be clear intent from employers to keep diversity and inclusion at the top of their agenda,” adds Gemma McCall, CEO, Culture Shift.

Culture Shift exists to lead positive change in organisational culture, through building products that empower them to tackle harassment and bullying.

“We hope the insights uncovered in our report, combined with the fact that diverse workforces are consistently proven to be more successful, result in employers making some tangible changes across the board to ensure their teams are truly representative of reality,” concludes Gemma.

To see more insights uncovered by the research or to download the full ‘Maintaining workplace culture in a rapidly changing environment’ report, visit info.culture-shift.co.uk/maintaining-workplace-culture.

Continue Reading

Business

American Express and Amazon Business Launch Co-branded Credit Cards for Small Businesses in the UK

Published

on

American Express and Amazon Business Launch Co-branded Credit Cards for Small Businesses in the UK 2

The co-branded Cards offer flexible benefits and payment optionality by allowing small businesses to decide between earning rewards or adjusting payment terms on eligible purchases

UK small business Card launch builds on American Express and Amazon’s long-term relationship and co-branded Card programme in the US

American Express (NYSE: AXP) today announced the launch of the new Amazon Business American Express® Card and the Amazon Business Prime American Express® Card for small businesses in the UK. The Cards offer a host of rich rewards and payment flexibility designed to help businesses better manage their cash flow and gain greater insight into their spending.

The Cards provide an enhanced check-out experience on Amazon Business UK and Amazon.co.uk that gives Cardmembers the option to earn reward points or select a deferred payment term for each transaction, enabling them to make the best payment choice for their finances. Reward points can be earned anywhere American Express Cards are accepted and redeemed toward future Amazon purchases or applied to the balance of their monthly Card statement. This new Card programme in the UK has been developed as part of the on-going relationship between American Express and Amazon which includes a co-branded programme in the US and a global Card acceptance relationship.

This launch comes at a time when 63% of British small businesses say cash flow issues have led them to delay purchasing goods and services they need to run their business, according to new research from American Express and YouGov1. Nearly a quarter (23%) of the survey participants said they have put off ‘bigger ticket’ purchases over the last six months until they have funds available, and 38% of them are only buying the ‘essentials’ they need to keep their business operating.

Commenting on the new Card launch, Colin O’Flaherty, General Manager of UK Global Commercial Services at American Express, said: “We have been serving small businesses for over 60 years, and are passionate about helping our small business customers effectively run and grow their businesses, especially during this challenging period. With many UK SMEs facing financial hardships, we want to make it easier for businesses to manage their finances and continue accessing the goods and products they need with more options to pay. We know that a vast number of the UK’s businesses rely on Amazon’s wide-ranging products and services and are excited to launch this powerful and flexible new payment tool that will allow small businesses to select how to pay, purchase by purchase.”

Dave Brittain, Director of Amazon Business UK, said “Working with American Express to launch the small business credit Card was a natural decision for Amazon, given our shared long-standing commitment to helping small businesses flourish globally. We’re incredibly proud to launch this Card programme as it offers small business owners and entrepreneurs the best of both companies: the convenience and value they have come to know and love from Amazon, underpinned by the world-class service, benefits, access and security of American Express. These benefits have never been more important at a time when businesses are navigating the challenges and uncertainty which Covid-19 has presented.”

Amazon Business American Express Cardmembers and Amazon Business Prime American Express Cardmembers will have access to the following key benefits:

  • 2% Amazon Rewards points on the first £120,000 in purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business UK and Whole Foods Market UK each calendar year, 1% thereafter or 90-day payment terms on such purchases for Cardmembers who are Business Prime members on Amazon Business UK
  • 1.5% Amazon Rewards points on the first £120,000 in purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business UK and Whole Foods Market UK each calendar year, 1% thereafter or 60-day payment terms on such purchases for all other Cardmembers
  • 0.5% Amazon Rewards points on all other purchases for all Cardmembers

Both Cards come with a £50 annual fee, however, this is waived for new Business Prime American Express Cardmembers in the first year. Upon approval, new Cardmembers who are Business Prime members will receive an Amazon gift card with £50 value, and all other Cardmembers will receive a £25 Amazon gift card. As an added benefit for Amazon Business Prime American Express Cardmembers, their Cards will feature a unique vertical design that is composed of metal.

Continue Reading

Business

Go Global To Expand Your Revenue Stream

Published

on

Go Global To Expand Your Revenue Stream 3

By Christian Spaltenstein, Managing Director, AFEX Americas

Banking and financial operations have evolved immensely in the past few years. Innovation in banking technology has set new standards for businesses, with multiple players actively participating in the journey to make financial services transparent, accessible and secure. In a globalized economy, where borders dissolve and even a micro-business can build an international footprint, a global payments offering is the magical key for any business to thrive. With competition from digital-first challengers, businesses are now realizing the importance of enhancing their product offerings to flourish in today’s internet based marketplace.

The pandemic has certainly played a massive role in forcing businesses to re-think strategies and optimize their operating model to suit the needs of the present economy. Ensuring business continuity is top-of-mind for many businesses who are struggling to remain afloat.

Expanding your revenue stream, especially during these challenging times, can be tough but profitable. A primary area of focus for many businesses today is to have an efficient and reliable supply chain. That could mean exploring unfamiliar markets and sourcing new service providers. Some businesses are also adapting their product lines to accommodate new needs in the market.

As other businesses effect digital transformations and find new ways of working, hacking is on the rise. Customers today want everything over the web; ensuring your systems are secure and efficient is even more important during these challenging times.

Businesses that are unable to cope with these increasing demands suffer the challenge of surviving and remaining relevant.

Companies that have been able to implement API solutions have observed proven success in achieving a multitude of business objectives. Automating financial operations with advanced technology solutions can help you not just differentiate your business, but also capture market share in today’s economy. It can add operational efficiency and help enhance your organization’s productivity—and as a result, revenues.

A trusted API solutions partner for global payments with an efficient banking and payments infrastructure can open your business to opportunities to grow internationally. It can also help your business to adapt to changing customer needs and offer services that can help you stay at the top of your game. Here are a few ways such solutions can help your business thrive and go global:

1. Currency risk management

Uncertainty due to ongoing market volatility can have adverse effects on your business’ profits. The ability to create forward contracts enables businesses to lock in a favorable rate and ensure financing certainty for their future currency needs.

2. Entrance into new markets

Introducing a business into new markets, or sourcing new services, comes with a host of challenges, the biggest being currency and payments. API solutions can support a business’ expansion plan today, tomorrow and in the future, with seamless scalability ready when it’s needed.

3. New revenue streams

A global payments API solution can help your business operate more efficiently. It offers a competitive edge, which can transform FX from a cost to a strategic advantage. As a business grows, so should its revenue.

4. Product growth and competitive advantage

An efficient FX and payments system can help businesses to steal an advantage in the market. Many business functions depend on either incoming or outgoing payments, and integration of these basic features into a business’ product can represent exponential growth in new users and wallet share.

5. Data is gold –

In today’s changing environment, protecting yourself and your customers’ data is a necessity. A secure and stable infrastructure to keep data safe helps you avoid financial and reputational damage— adding to your peace of mind—and increases customers’ trust.

Christian Spaltenstein

Christian Spaltenstein

A global payments partner can certainly help expand your revenue stream and strengthen your value proposition. However, it is critical to analyze your core competencies. Taking a look at your own cost structure and restructuring your delivery channels to best suit the needs of your end customer is essential. Using tools like AI can help you draw better conclusions about customer behavior, guiding you to choose the right enhancements. The objective for any expansion should be to improve the business ecosystem you operate in.

Your global payments partner should also be able to understand your target market and your business goals to better help you navigate risks and mitigate market volatility.

In evaluating a partner, key considerations include:

  1. Product knowledge and demand: Choose a partner with experience with companies like yours and the ability to adapt their solutions to your needs.
  2. Regulatory set-up: Make sure your partner is licensed and fully compliant across the world, and has robust cybersecurity protocols in place.
  3. Infrastructure: A well-developed, stable global payments infrastructure and robust payment rails saves you the time and resource you’d need to build your own.
  4. Cultural understanding for expansion: Communication and business practices vary across the world. A partner with a sizeable global footprint can help you navigate efficiently in new markets.

Times of crisis often produce innovation in processes and practices. The digital transformation of financial services has been extensively accelerated by COVID-19. Companies are seeking new ways to keep costs down while they weigh opportunities to expand internationally. Adapting to survive and ensure business continuity, especially during the ongoing pandemic is critical for businesses.

In times of uncertainty it’s important to keep both feet on the ground and ensure your operations are smooth and your data secure. Automating your global payments process is an important step in digital transformation. Adding efficiency and reducing errors can boost your profitability and can help you scale for the future.

 

This is a Sponsored Feature.

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

Half of UK’s finance sector confirms diversity should be more of a priority in the workplace, with calls for action across the industry 4 Half of UK’s finance sector confirms diversity should be more of a priority in the workplace, with calls for action across the industry 5
Business1 hour ago

Half of UK’s finance sector confirms diversity should be more of a priority in the workplace, with calls for action across the industry

Almost half (45%) of Britain’s banking/financial services workforce think their employer could do more when it comes to diversity, according to a...

American Express and Amazon Business Launch Co-branded Credit Cards for Small Businesses in the UK 6 American Express and Amazon Business Launch Co-branded Credit Cards for Small Businesses in the UK 7
Business1 hour ago

American Express and Amazon Business Launch Co-branded Credit Cards for Small Businesses in the UK

The co-branded Cards offer flexible benefits and payment optionality by allowing small businesses to decide between earning rewards or adjusting...

Go Global To Expand Your Revenue Stream 8 Go Global To Expand Your Revenue Stream 9
Business1 hour ago

Go Global To Expand Your Revenue Stream

By Christian Spaltenstein, Managing Director, AFEX Americas Banking and financial operations have evolved immensely in the past few years. Innovation...

Local authorities and business networks play a key role in small business success, and must be protected during COVID rebuild 10 Local authorities and business networks play a key role in small business success, and must be protected during COVID rebuild 11
Banking2 hours ago

Local authorities and business networks play a key role in small business success, and must be protected during COVID rebuild

23% of UK’s top performing businesses have been supported by local enterprise partnerships and growth hubs Similarly, 30% of Britain’s...

What Does the FinCEN File Leak Tell Us? 12 What Does the FinCEN File Leak Tell Us? 13
Top Stories2 hours ago

What Does the FinCEN File Leak Tell Us?

By Ted Sausen, Subject Matter Expert, NICE Actimize On September 20, 2020, just four days after the Financial Crimes Enforcement...

gbaf1news gbaf1news
Investing2 hours ago

Investment Roundtable: Live with Jim Bianco

With Q4’s macro picture still looking grim amid the return of exponential coronavirus waves in Europe and the U.S. and...

Equity markets react to a rise in Covid-19 cases, uncertain Brexit talks and the upcoming US election 14 Equity markets react to a rise in Covid-19 cases, uncertain Brexit talks and the upcoming US election 15
Investing4 hours ago

Equity markets react to a rise in Covid-19 cases, uncertain Brexit talks and the upcoming US election

By Rupert Thompson, Chief Investment Officer at Kingswood Equity markets had another choppy week, falling for most of it before...

October furlough changes – what you need to know 16 October furlough changes – what you need to know 17
Business5 hours ago

October furlough changes – what you need to know

By Alan Price, employment law expert and CEO of BrightHR The Job Retention Scheme is coming to an end on...

Do we really need banks? Yes, but digital transformation industry-wide is vital 18 Do we really need banks? Yes, but digital transformation industry-wide is vital 19
Banking5 hours ago

Do we really need banks? Yes, but digital transformation industry-wide is vital

By Charley Cooper is Managing Director at enterprise blockchain firm, R3 The Coronavirus crisis has taught us that we are...

Turning a Critical Eye on Impersonation Scams 20 Turning a Critical Eye on Impersonation Scams 21
Business6 hours ago

Turning a Critical Eye on Impersonation Scams

By Mike Kiser, security strategist and evangelist at SailPoint “The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.”...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now