News Article


More than half of blue chip invoices paid late

By CreditMan Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Analysis of nearly 6,000 invoices with blue chip debtors has found that more than half (56%) are paid late. MarketInvoice, a peer-to-peer lender which enables businesses to selectively sell invoices online to release working capital, has tracked the progress of 5,838 invoices since February 2011.

Nearly one in ten (9.7%) was paid more than 30 days late.

Of those invoices that were paid late, on average the payment was made 17 days beyond the contracted terms.

The invoices were owed by large corporations, charities and public sector bodies, and owed to smaller UK businesses with annual turnover between £100k and £10m.

MarketInvoice CEO Anil Stocker said:
“Late payment is a silent but significant killer of UK businesses, and it has become a dangerous norm for blue chip organisations to pay invoices beyond the agreed terms. Consistent late payment damages our economy and almost every high street name you can think of is doing it.

“Through a combination of bureaucratic inefficiency and calculated cost-saving large organisations have generated a culture which takes advantage of the vulnerable position smaller businesses find themselves in when dealing with important customers.

“There are mitigations that smaller businesses can put in place to encourage customers to pay on time. Building a good relationship with your customers’ accounts payable teams and understanding their processes can help, and it’s vital to invoice promptly and accurately. You can also consider selling your invoices to get the money in straight away - this not only eliminates the risk of late-payment but also enables business to invest in growth projects. Increasingly businesses are using MarketInvoice’s selective invoice finance to take back control of their cash-flow.”

Key stats
+ MarketInvoice tracked the progress of 5,838 invoices over a three year period.
+ 56% (3,269) of the invoices were paid after the date specified on the invoice.
+ 9.7% (566) of the invoices were paid 30 days or more after the date specified on the invoice.
+ Of the late paid invoices, on average payment was received 17 days beyond the agreed term.

How were the invoices tracked?
Since February 2011 businesses have been using the MarketInvoice platform to sell their invoices to a network of global investors. MarketInvoice collected the contracted payment date and could track exactly when payments against individual invoices were made.

Top tips for getting paid on time:

1 - Build a strong relationship with your customer’s accounts payable team - being aggressive in collecting debts will not help.
2 - Understand the payment practices of your customer - what days in each month do they make payments? How are invoices signed off internally? These are important questions that can determine whether or not you get paid on time.
3 - Invoice quickly - don’t waste time you don’t have. Get your invoices off straight away.
4 - Invoice accurately - be careful to get the details of the invoice right. Mistakes can cause significant delays in payment.
5 - Use invoice finance - MarketInvoice enables businesses to selectively sell invoices online for a small discount. There’s no need to wait for weeks for business finance when you can use your invoices to get funding in a matter of hours.

A very small minority of the invoices were owed to business with turnover greater than £10m.

About MarketInvoice (

Businesses use MarketInvoice to selectively sell their invoices to a network of global investors.

The online platform is a working capital solution, giving businesses immediate access to funds otherwise tied up for between 30 to 120 days.

Launched in 2011, MarketInvoice has helped hundreds of businesses overcome the lengthy payment terms of their large customers. More than £195m has been raised through the platform, with SMEs using the funds to hire more staff, launch new products and pay their suppliers.

MarketInvoice is a new type of funding solution, accessible to a wide range of UK businesses. Businesses are able to sell single invoices online, only as and when they need to. There are no contracts, hidden fees or personal guarantees; new clients can sign up, sell an invoice and draw down funds on the same day.

Invoices are funded by a global pool of investors including high net worth individuals. In August 2013, the UK government began investing in SME invoices via MarketInvoice as part of their Business Finance Partnership scheme. This initiative will see £40m channelled through the platform over a 12 month period.

Company press release