We all know businesses need to get with the times. Banks should be updating their legacy infrastructure, corporate sales and payments should be going digital and businesses should be safeguarding their systems against high-tech cybercriminals.
The latest research reveals just how far behind companies throughout the globe are in these respects — and that means bad news for the long run. From FinServ players reporting their anxieties about the blockchain to a small — but not insignificant — percentage of manufacturers still relying on the fax machine to reach corporate customers, this week’s data suggests businesses are not prepping for a new decade.
180+ days past-due invoices are not uncommon for Chinese companies, according to new analysis, which also found that more than 80 percent of businesses in the country are struggling with late payments and that the volume of late payments these companies are stuck with has also increased from the previous year. Companies dealing with these so-called “ultra-late” invoice payments are at the mercy of several factors, including a slowing economy, a rise in nonperforming corporate loans and a weakening local currency, all exacerbating the inability of businesses to settle their B2B invoices. Researchers also noted that this trend is unlikely to cease this year or in the short term.
83 percent of financial services firms consider the blockchain a threat, research from PwC concluded. The number of FinServ firms considering blockchain technology as a potential disruptor to their line of business increases in the banking industry and among its management-level professionals, according to reports. PwC surveyed CEOs, innovation leaders, CIOs and other executives across the globe and found that FinTech companies believe that blockchain and other FinTech startups and innovators can potentially take away one-third of their business within legacy financial services segments. In addition to banking, payments companies are feeling the most heat from the blockchain — this sector says up to 28 percent of their operations could soon be taken over by FinTech startups.
54 percent of manufacturers aren’t going online to make sales, finds Four51’s most recent Manufacturing Commerce & Technology 2020 report. Analysis revealed that the majority of manufacturers are using offline methods, like sales representatives, phones and even fax, to reach potential business customers — 3 percent even use fax as their primary sales method. The report found that 45 percent of these companies aren’t using eCommerce methods whatsoever, making for a major missed opportunity for these B2B companies; the report called this finding a “blind spot” among North American manufacturers as they plan for the next decade.
34 percent of small business owners in the U.S. prefer Trump over other presidential candidates, according to a new report from Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management. Researchers found that Republican candidate Donald Trump has the policies most closely aligned with the nation’s SMEs over those of Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. “Trump’s popularity among small business owners is understandable since he is an independent business owner himself,” explained Dr. Craig R. Everett, assistant professor of finance and director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project, in a statement.
25 percent more businesses chose invoice financing in the U.K. in 2015 compared to 2014, new analysis from the Asset Based Finance Association said. The use of asset-based loans — financing secured against debts, as well as other assets, like equipment and property — as well as invoice financing, is a trend that ABFA Chief Executive Jeff Longhurst said is no longer just for small and medium-sized businesses. “We’re seeing increased appetite from the U.K.’s largest businesses to secure finance to fulfill growth plans and expand order books,” he stated.
22 percent of U.S. SMEs reported getting hit by a cyberattack in the last 24 months, a sign that cyberthieves are giving these corporations a bit of a break. Researchers at CFO found that the percentage of SMEs reporting these attacks is 20 percent less than the instance of larger corporations over the last two years. But it’s not out of sight, out of mind for these corporations; CFO also found that cybersecurity is a top 10 business concern for the majority of businesses (57.5 percent).
Twice as many ransomware attacks hit U.K. SMEs in February as compared to the number of attacks in the whole of the first three months of 2015. The statistic comes from Trend Micro, which found a significant spike in cybersecurity threats for the U.K.’s small businesses. According to researhers, the vast majority of these attacks are in the form of cryptographic ransomware, which locks administrative personnel out of company systems, effectively bringing business operations to a standstill, researchers said.