invoice financing

Have a plan to bridge short term cashflow dips

Every business should have a contingency plan to deal with an unexpected dip in cash flow. While simply having a business overdraft available provides some degree of short-term protection, it’s best to have an array of lifelines at your disposal. Also, we find that the overdraft gets used for everyday purposes rather than for unexpected problems.

Peer-to-peer financing is another clever route to addressing temporary dips in cash flow. Conventional peer-to-peer financing involves online companies lending to businesses from funds gathered through a pool of investors. These loans are usually quicker and more straightforward than conventional borrowing and there is no minimum amount, so they are perfect for topping up cash flow. Beware: some offer much better value than others: don't be taken in by headline rates, do some calculations or check with your accountant.

Another smart take on peer-to-peer financing is an online improvement on invoice ‘factoring’, whereby a business in need of cash sells its ledger to a bank or another conventional lender. The online providers in this area of peer-to-peer financing, which include InvoiceX, will buy (for 1.5-3% per month) individual invoices – allowing companies to easily draw specific, limited amounts – but avoid the hidden fees, long contracts and slow decision processes of traditional factoring providers. For working capital spikes, this is often a better ongoing solution than a short term loan which can cause more cashflow problems a few months later. Importantly, watch out for whether your customer needs to be notified.

Rapid growth in finance options for small-medium sized businesses

Interesting article in The Australian today covering a survey by eBroker which gives insights on the rapid growth in non-bank business lenders.

The question of regulation of business lenders is generally not well understood, we find. As neither an AFSL or credit licence is not required to lend to businesses, you cannot obtain one even if like us you would like one. The same applies to established non-bank lenders like Scottish Pacific. So there’s a bit more to it than APRA. 

In 2008, COAG agreed to a two phase reform process for the regulation of credit and that in Phase Two the Commonwealth would consider the need to change the definition of regulated credit, and to address practices and forms of contracts that were not subject to the Credit Act. After lengthy consultation, on 21 December 2012, the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, released for public consultation draft legislation to address perceived gaps in existing credit regulation and enforcement. In typical “Yes Minister” style, after many detailed contributions, the consultation was kicked into the long grass because another inquiry, the Financial Systems Inquiry, had started!

With an increasing focus on the problems for SMEs in accessing finance, hopefully this issue will rear its head again as we certainly need some standards to be applied. For example, effective interest rates (APR) which very few seem to understand.

Loans flood in for fintechs

THE AUSTRALIAN

JUNE 22, 2016

 

Michael Bennet

Extract:

Non-bank business lenders are receiving more than $1.1 billion of loan applications every month as awareness of new fintech operators and other alternative providers accelerates, according to a new survey.

Providing insight into the level of demand for loans outside traditional banks, the survey by online business lending aggregator eBroker found non-banks were attracting at least 11,676 loan applications a month, worth $1.13bn.

Non-banks are alternative lenders that don’t take deposits, sidestepping the need for a full banking licence and oversight by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

The survey, conducted with marketing company WebBuzz, took place in early May and included the chief executives of 29 non-bank business lenders, including providers of unsecured cash flow loans, equipment finance, invoice discounting and trade finance.

Time to ask where's the money to back our exporters - invoice trading solves the cashflow mismatch

 

Another week, another story about transitioning from the mining boom. Australian service businesses have a great deal to offer overseas companies. We see it every day. But without the finance to grow, how can you do it? Has anyone asked that question in Canberra?

Our broken Basel 2-3-4 system of regulatory capital makes our banks focus on residential mortgages, not lending to businesses. Time to change that. Now!

"Sheep, iron mine and Sydney Opera House," writes Yongyu Ma, a student, on the online forum Quora in response to the question "What do Chinese people think of Australia?"

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week headed a 1000-strong delegation of business people to China in an attempt to convince them we have more to offer.

Events and banquets were held across 12 Chinese cities, with Austrade officials acting as cupids, of sorts, setting up speed dating sessions for Australian businesses to tout the full diversity of our economic wares to Chinese buyers.

Australia can be as nimble, agile, innovative and excited as we like, but just because we’re good at providing services, doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily sell lots of them.



 

How invoice trading provides badly needed growth capital for ambitious Australian businesses

No doubt you’ve had other busy week. We thought that you would appreciate a quick update on the fundamental issues and developments in the market for business credit. Please click on the links below to read more.

According to a recent Morgan Stanley report, the market for alternative finance in Australia is on track to grow to over $95 billion and is changing at a rapid pace. Our confidential, flexible working capital product is unique in Australia and we are seeing very strong demand from growing businesses.

 
 
 
 
 

KPMG: invoice trading is the fastest growing alternative finance model in Asia-Pacific, ex-China

This report is based on a survey of over 500 alternative finance platforms in 17 Asia Pacific countries and regions, capturing an estimated 70 percent of the visible market. As the first comprehensive studyof the Asia-Pacific online alternative finance market, this research contributes to the growing body of data supporting the region's potential.

Why invoice trading is so different to factoring and so much better

In Australia many ambitious businesses can’t reach their potential because banks won’t fund them without real estate backing. Where do you go if you have no more equity in your house?

ATO tax debt continues to rise as SMEs cashflow pressures mount

The amount of tax that is overdue continues to rise. Over $35bn is in arrears and small-medium sized businesses owe most of it.
In 2014–15, the ATO granted over 800,000 payment plans.

 

 

The Great Conspiracy: what is the real rate of interest on a short term loan?

When comparing offers of finance as a business owner, it is very difficult to understand the true cost of the product. Unlike consumer finance, there is no requirement to disclose comparable rates and few know how to calculate one.

Our approach to the lack of regulation in SME finance

As is the case overseas, invoice finance in Australia falls under asset based financing, which is not currently an activity regulated by ASIC (Class Order [CO 04/239]). We would welcome regulation but you cannot choose to be regulated, as our regulatory advisers have pointed out.

Small business credit - what happened to the Phase 2 credit protection reforms agreed at COAG in 2008?

In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a two phase reform process for the regulation of credit and that in Phase Two the Commonwealth would consider the need to change the definition of regulated credit, and to address practices and forms of contracts that were not subject to the Credit Act.

Four things the innovative accountant should know about alternative finance

Over 300 attendees packed Sydney's Doltone House for the inaugural AltFi Australasian Summit, to hear from a range of local and international speakers about the future of this exciting new space.

If you are interested in finding out more about alternative finance and how it is helping businesses grow, please get in touch. It’s a subject that we love to talk about!

Have a great weekend!

 

CONTACT US TODAY

 
W: www.invoicex.com.au
E: info@invoicex.com.au
General Enquiries: 1300 IX GROWTH

KPMG: invoice trading is the fastest growing alternative finance model in Asia-Pacific, ex-China

KPMG: invoice trading is the fastest growing alternative finance model in Asia-Pacific, ex-China

This report is based on a survey of over 500 alternative finance platforms in 17 Asia Pacific countries and regions, capturing an estimated 70 percent of the visible market. As the first comprehensive study of the Asia-Pacific online alternative finance market, this research contributes to the growing body of data supporting the region’s potential.

16 March 2016

Why invoice trading is so different to factoring and so much better

CONFIDENTIAL FLEXIBILITY

We view long dated invoices as an asset you can leverage to provide cashflow to grow your business

In Australia many ambitious businesses can’t reach their potential because banks won’t fund them without real estate backing. Where do you go if you have no more equity in your house?

Many of Australia's most promising small to medium sized companies have large slow-paying customers: Government entities, ASX listed companies, large multi-national corporations, educational and healthcare institutions, etc.  You know they are going to pay: it’s just going to take a while, 45, 60, 90 days…

InvoiceX has the only solution of its kind in Australia. Invoice trading, or single invoice finance as its sometimes described, has now caught up with the new sharing economy, which has introduced the likes of Uber and AirBnB. We match sophisticated investor funds with growing Australian companies on the best terms possible, ensuring the best possible deal for both parties.    

Uniquely, the funding is confidential and only needs to be used on an as-needed basis. Unlike traditional factoring, the funding is totally undisclosed, the terms are fair and transparent, it’s all done online at speeds that would embarrass your bank.

You are in control to trade invoices when you want, on your terms, single invoices or bundles of invoices.

For ambitious businesses this is a powerful tool, which turbo-charges growth.

Our track record speaks for itself. We have many happy customers Australia-wide who swear by our revolutionary model. Confidential invoice trading works.

SIMPLY, IT’S THE SMART WAY TO GROW. 

Why does confidential invoice trading make sense?

Through our revolutionary Match Maker Trading Platform™, we offer our customers valuable benefits that are not available with other financing options.

BANK OVERDRAFTS DON'T FINANCE REVENUE GROWTH - THEY LOOK BACKWARDS NOT FORWARDS AND YOU NEED REAL ESTATE

1. Overdraft limits are typically set based on your fixed assets including personal real estate

2. For many firms the biggest balance sheet assets are the amounts due from their customers (invoices) - these are not fixed assets, so you can’t raise an overdraft against them

3. Increasing your overdraft is often mind-blowingly difficult requiring lengthy negotiations with your bank with accountant's reports

4. With a tight credit environment banks have been reducing overdraft facilities to businesses, especially small-medium sized businesses

5. Overdrafts often come with high and unexpected fees, which you only discover when you need the overdraft most

TRADITIONAL FACTORING AND INVOICE FINANCE PRODUCTS LOCK BUSINESSES INTO A CAPTIVE RELATIONSHIP

1. All of your debtors: customers must enter into whole turnover invoice financing arrangements, not single invoice finance, to avoid penal rates

2. Lack of confidentiality: the finance provider takes control of all of your customer collections

2. Expensive: ongoing monthly minimum services fees, high arrangement fees, unclear terms, lower availability of finance than advertised due to concentration limits and lack of co-operation by debtors

3. Unfair contracts: traditional debtor finance contracts usually involve contractual lock-ins with long notice periods which in many cases make it exceptionally difficult for the customer to terminate the contract 

4. Unreliable: credit lines can reduce with no notice at the whim of the funding provider

6. Clunky: often lacking in innovation, traditional products tend to be inflexible to your needs

INVOICEX BRIDGES THE GAP

1. Sell invoices confidentially as often or as little as you want, only paying transparent transaction fees on each invoice sold

2. Sell invoices in minutes to sophisticated investors using our Match Maker Trading Platform™: they buy your invoices and we ensure that funding is advanced to you next day

3. You deal with customer collections, not us

4. Obtain best pricing for the invoices that slow your business down, rather than unilaterally across all your debtor book

5. Access funds almost no matter what industry you are in

6. No need for blanket security charges over all company assets - raise cash, not debt

Why is invoice trading so different from conventional debtor finance?

We enjoyed reading a very useful article on Altfi recently which highlighted the leading invoice finance platforms in Australia.

Some important differences were highlighted:

First and foremost, it’s crucial to state the difference between invoice financing and invoice factoring, as they aren’t the same thing at all.

The former refers to borrowing money against businesses’ outstanding accounts receivables. An example helps to clarify the point. A lender gives entrepreneurs cash today in relation to the value of the company’s accounts receivables – money owed to the firm, which clients will pay in the future (hopefully). Once the clients pay up, entrepreneurs then repay the lender the amount loaned plus fees and interest.

The latter is a bit different. Indeed, in this case the lender “buys” the accounts receivables entrepreneurs are owed and takes over collecting from the clients. With invoice factoring, the lender will pay the business owner a percentage of the total outstanding invoice amount, then takes responsibility for collecting the full amount. Once they collect the full amount, they’ll advance entrepreneurs the difference, keeping a percentage for their services.

The main difference between these two forms of financing is obvious. In the first case, the business owner is still responsible for collecting outstanding money owed by his/her clients. In the second case, clients will deal with the factoring company to make their payment, not the business owner.

This usefully sets out some key foundations based on conventional debtor finance. During the early 1990s, 'invoice financing' or 'discounting' as described above developed into a major asset finance product for larger companies. In recent years, banks have steadily withdrawn from this segment due to the inherent risks and operational complexities.

Invoice finance is now seeing the development of a next generation product: confidential invoice trading. Over $2 billion of finance has been provided in this form in the UK alone, having started only 5 years ago.

This is a revolutionary new way of doing invoice finance, as pioneered by Marketinvoice in the UK since 2011 and adapted by InvoiceX for the Australian market since 2014. 

Confidential invoice trading opens up a broad market of high quality, growing businesses who are attracted to raising flexible growth capital confidentially on attractive terms. These companies are not attracted to factoring or invoice discounting.

  • Unlike factoring, our invoice trading solution is confidential. We are the only platform that offers this in Australia. We do not contact or chase the debtor for payment.
     
  • Unlike invoice discounting, our investors own the traded invoice. This is a much better place to be from a credit risk perspective. Our investors are not materially exposed to insolvency risk from the seller. Therefore, we can offer much better terms to SMEs and much larger facilities.

We are very excited as this form of finance opens up so many growth opportunities for many of Australia's most promising companies.

Why is invoice trading the smart way to grow and who offers it in Australia?

Great to see real progress this year in raising awareness of invoice trading. We operate the only confidential invoice trading platform in Australia. Our growing business customers love using our service and our investors are happy. That makes us happy too!

Spotlight On The Top 5 Australian Invoice Financing Platforms
By Guglielmo de Stefano on 18th February 2016
 

In a recent article, AltFi investigated what’s happening in the Alternative Finance Market in Australia. What emerged is that the AltFi revolution seems to have started approximately when Matt Symons and Greg Symons founded SocietyOne in 2012, the first fully compliant peer-to-peer lending business in the country.

That research focused mainly on peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding. Although these two subsectors are key pillars of the broader alternative finance spectrum, we believe that invoice financing also deserves the same attention.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to state the difference between invoice financing and invoice factoring, as they aren’t the same thing at all.

The former refers to borrowing money against businesses’ outstanding accounts receivables. An example helps to clarify the point. A lender gives entrepreneurs cash today in relation to the value of the company’s accounts receivables – money owed to the firm, which clients will pay in the future (hopefully). Once the clients pay up, entrepreneurs then repay the lender the amount loaned plus fees and interest.

The latter is a bit different. Indeed, in this case the lender “buys” the accounts receivables entrepreneurs are owed and takes over collecting from the clients. With invoice factoring, the lender will pay the business owner a percentage of the total outstanding invoice amount, then takes responsibility for collecting the full amount. Once they collect the full amount, they’ll advance entrepreneurs the difference, keeping a percentage for their services.

The main difference between these two forms of financing is obvious. In the first case, the business owner is still responsible for collecting outstanding money owed by his/her clients. In the second case, clients will deal with the factoring company to make their payment, not the business owner.

In Australia, from what we can establish, the top 5 Australian invoice financing/factoring platforms are Waddle, Marketlend, Timelio, FundX and InvoiceX.

Waddle: Founded in July 2015 by Leigh Dunsford and Simon Creighton – owners of invoice factoring company Trade Advance – Waddle is an invoice financing platform, which has provided about 20 Australian SMEs with approximately $1 million in financing to date. In a recent interview, Leigh was keen to highlight that Waddle is no ordinary invoice factoring company. The platform offers a solution similar to factoring in some ways, but very different in others. As with factoring, Waddle provides funding against small businesses’ outstanding invoices. Unlike factoring solutions, businesses’ clients are never contacted or hassled by Waddle and entrepreneurs are able to skip on the paperwork headaches that historically plague the factoring process. 

Marketlend: Founded in December 2014 by Leo Tyndall and Paul Roffey, Marketlend was conceived as a business peer-to-peer lender, offering loans to businesses in the form of working capital, traditional business loans and commercial property finance. Its offering includes three products: a debtor finance product, an invoice financing solution and a trade finance service. In the case of invoice financing, loans are secured by a personal property interest over the borrower’s company and the platform owns the supplies as it pays for them; in the case of the debtor finance offering, they are secured against the borrower’s accounts receivable. To find out more about Marketlend click here.

FundX: Based in Sydney, FundX was founded by David Jackson – former Australian small business builder and investor. According to him, the primary aim of the company is to connect businesses with investors who can fund their cash flows. Users are provided rapid access to funds based on the value of their outstanding invoices. FundX uses big data, machine learning and predictive algorithms to analyse risk and authorise invoice funding “with the push of a button, in less than a minute”. 

InvoiceX: Founded by Dermot Crean and Steve Yannarakis, the company is strongly placed to help small and medium enterprises (regardless of their business sector) to deal with working capital pressures. Its primary product – the Match Maker Trading Platform – rapidly matches investors with businesses, optimising the deal for both parties. InvoiceX assures the total absence of set-up fees and a straightforward application process. The company aims to provide a cash advance – up to 85% of the Face Value of an invoice – within 24 hours.

Timelio: Founded in 2014, Timelio – formerly known as InvoiceBid – enables businesses to raise short-term finance by selling their unpaid invoices directly to a network of investors. The platform requires investors to fund their accounts with a minimum of $25k. Before being approved to sell invoices on the platform, all invoice sellers undergo a rigorous credit assessment. The platform states that third party analytics and searches might be used to further support the internal assessment. Before being made available for investment, each invoice and debtor will be verified and authenticated. Timelio has been recently awarded the “Game Changer of the Year Award” sponsored by Visa and the “Overall Award for Outstanding Excellence” sponsored by Optus at the OPTUS My Business Awards in Sydney. 

If you want to know more about the alternative finance space in Australasia, be sure to book your tickets for the AltFi Australasia Summit 2016 before they sell out.

SME finance in Australia is changing for the better thanks to P2P/marketplace lending

Oz P2P Lender Releases Loan Book

By Guglielmo de Stefano on 2nd February 2016
 

Invoice trading platform InvoiceX publishes its loan book as part of its plan to boost transparency.

Australian online invoice trading platform InvoiceX today announced the publication of its loan book, containing tons of data on more than $6.5 million of invoice trades from November 20th 2014 – when the platform launched – to 31 December 2015. According to the data, the company is on track to trade over $50 million worth of invoices in 2016.

Founded by Dermot Crean and Steve Yannarakis, the company is strongly placed to help small and medium enterprises (regardless of their business sector) to deal with working capital pressures. Its primary product – the Match Maker Trading Platform – rapidly matches investors with businesses, optimising the deal for both parties. InvoiceX assures the total absence of set-up fees and a straightforward application process. The company aims to provide a cash advance – up to 85% of the Face Value of an invoice – within 24 hours.

Dermot Crean, co-founder and director of InvoiceX, commented:

“Greater transparency is key to taking P2P lending mainstream, both for businesses and consumer loans. It is our hope that release of this data will prompt other P2P lenders to take the same action. We want to ensure that all business owners in Australia who are eager to grow have access to transparent and fair finance which puts the rights of borrowers at the centre of the lending process.”

Since inception, InvoiceX has facilitated 201 trades for SMEs with an average trade face value of $33,098, an average discount fee of 1.2 per cent per calendar month and an average settlement period of 35 days. The platform is keen on highlighting the differences between its business model and a normal factoring provider. Traditional factoring involves long lock-in periods, much higher costs and the losing of control of sales ledgers and collections. Conversely, InvoiceX’s product is totally confidential, with no lock-ins and a good deal of flexibility.

According to Dermot, the release of this data is indicative of a maturing P2P lending market in Australia. He said:

“The public release of this lending data will allow businesses to make easy comparisons between P2P lenders, and also directly with traditional finance options such as term loans and mortgages. […] Greater transparency is key to taking P2P lending mainstream, both for businesses and consumer loans. It is our hope that release of this data will prompt other P2P lenders to take the same action.”

It’s widely acknowledged that transparency is a key pillar of the Alternative Finance Space – essential to ensuring the sustainable growth of the asset class and to demonstrating that alternative finance platforms are behaving responsibly.

InvoiceX claims to be the first P2P Australasian platform to publish its loan book. “It's great to be the first to do this ever in Australian SME finance,” said Dermot. RateSetter Australia, following in the footsteps of its UK-based progenitor, uploaded its complete loan book online last October – although this resource is updated on a quarterly basis. On a global scale, many players have already disclosed their data, including the likes of ZopaFunding CircleRateSetter and MarketInvoice in the UK.

Aside from increasing the public’s opinion of the sector, data is critical also from a practical perspective, allowing for the construction of indices, such as the The Liberum AltFi Returns Index (LARI), which will likely come to form an essential component in the maturation of the sector.

AltFi Data today added an Australasian section to its Resources page, providing a link to the InvoiceX loan book, which is accessible here. We suspect that InvoiceX may have company in the Australasian section before long.

An Australian First : the first SME loan book ever to be disclosed

In an industry first, InvoiceX has today published its full loan book as part of its push for greater transparency in Australian SME finance.

The loan book contains anonymised data on more than $6.5 million of invoice trades from the platform’s launch on 20 November 2014 to 31 December 2015.

During this period, InvoiceX facilitated 201 trades for SMEs with an average trade face value of $33,098, weighted average discount fee of 1.17% per calendar month and average settlement period of 35 days. Larger trade values of close to $200,000 in the last three months of 2015 saw average trade face value increase to $44,133.

We want to ensure that all business owners in Australia who are eager to grow have access to transparent and fair finance which puts the rights of borrowers at the centre of the lending process.

We have set ourselves ambitious targets to help Australian businesses grow.  Our institutional-grade platform is ready to service the needs of our customers on a low cost basis. As a result, we are confident that we can provide the best deal for growth capital in Australia.

The data is available publicly for anyone to download and will be updated regularly.

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