More B2B suppliers are urging their corporate customers to pay invoices early for an early payment discount, according to a new survey from accounts receivable solution provider Taulia, announced on Thursday (June 27).
The company surveyed more than 18,500 suppliers using Taulia in Q4 2018 to gauge their demand for early payments, finding more than 62 percent of respondents are interested in receiving early payments from their customers. That's up from 54 percent in 2016, Taulia noted.
It's important to note, however, that the companies on the Taulia network may be more interested in early invoice payments because Taulia offers support for early payment discount programs. However, the research also explores why companies are interested in having their invoices paid early: 43 percent said they are most interested in covering gaps in cash flow, while 26 percent said early payments promote predictability. More than one-fifth said early payments help them address their working capital needs.
Despite significant interest in early payments, 39 percent of suppliers said their customers pay their invoices late.
"This underlines the considerable opportunity for early payment programs to provide suppliers with much needed working capital support, while tackling the issue of late payments," said Taulia Vice President of Customer Success Bob Glotfelty in a statement.
"In today's competitive environment, businesses need more cash than ever — particularly in light of the ongoing uncertainty around issues such as Brexit, and the U.S.-China trade war," added Taulia CEO Cedric Bru in another statement. "Early payment programs like Taulia's enable all businesses along their supply chain to improve their own working capital."
Earlier this year, Taulia announced a partnership with Google Cloud to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into the invoicing process, and address friction linked to vendors' use of an array of invoice formats and unstructured data. Using Google Cloud's Document Understanding AI technology, Taulia will enable optical character recognition, and the ability to aggregate unstructured data from invoices within the Taulia platform for faster processing and approval for payment.