B2B Payments

Ultimate Finance Targets Food Industry With AP Finance Solution

Alternative small business lender Ultimate Finance is adding a new product to its offering built on Big Data and risk mitigation technologies.

As covered in news reports by Asset Finance International on Thursday (Nov. 9), Ultimate Finance, based in the U.K., said it is rolling out Purchase Finance, a line of credit developed for food and agricultural companies to gain financing to pay supplier invoices.

“It has never made sense to me that small businesses dealing in perishables and raw materials, such as food, haven’t been able to access funding to grow,” said Anthony Persse, strategy director of Ultimate Finance, in a statement. “Purchase Finance addresses this by enabling businesses to pay their suppliers directly, using a funding line from Ultimate Finance, who can pay the supplier directly.”

Ultimate Finance noted in its announcement that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in this industry typically have to put up collateral in order to secure financing to pay supplier invoices. The company added that cash flow challenges have increased for U.K. companies in the food and agriculture space, thanks to a drop on sterling value and delays in payment from these firms’ own corporate customers.

According to Persse, Big Data and sophisticated risk mitigation software have made it easier for financiers to address this gap.

“In an age of Big Data and next-generation risk software, there is no longer a reason why financiers can’t offer food funding solutions to any thriving business,” he said. “We have already seen the positive impact that Purchase Finance can have on an operation during our product pilot and know that there is a huge potential for businesses of all shapes and sizes to benefit from fast, flexible and fair access to funding.”

Ultimate Finance has addressed the issue of late supplier payments in recent months, a growing concern in the U.K. In August, the company said late B2B payments are jeopardizing the health of the nation’s SMBs and published a new survey, conducted with consultancy group BDRC Continental, that found 94 percent of mid-sized businesses say their cash flow is negatively impacted by late B2B invoice payments.

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