Recent NAB data shows the number of customers using invoice financing – which allows businesses to borrow against unpaid customer invoices – has grown by 22% over the past year, a post-Covid high with an average of 1 million invoices being paid each month, helping ease the burden of slower supply chains.
The retail and wholesale trade industry is the highest user of the service, reporting a 30% increase as the industry combats ongoing supply chain restrictions.
Executive Business Metro, Michael Saadie, said the issue of supply chains is a hot topic for businesses.
“NAB’s invoice financing team has been busier than ever helping small and medium enterprises keep stock moving so that they can get paid for their goods sooner,” said Mr Saadie.
“When I’m talking to customers, many continue to report cash flow as one of their key challenges, as well as ongoing concern around skills shortages.
“Access to capital can be a problem for some businesses that may not have fixed assets to secure against. Invoice financing can help businesses access cash quickly by unlocking funds within their unpaid invoices, reducing the dependency on bricks-and-mortar security such as property.
“When businesses have the cash to pay their invoices quickly, they can get stock sooner and ensure other important payments are made promptly such as their team’s salaries. Ultimately, the quicker a business gets cash in the door, the faster suppliers get paid and the faster our economy moves.”
As the largest invoice financer in Australia, NAB has a 30-year history of helping businesses get their money in their account quickly. Invoice financing has become critical to many businesses, especially in the face of the global pandemic.
West Australia based seafood wholesaler, Red Chamber approached NAB citing a strain on their business due to supply chain delays caused by COVID-19. Red Chamber were advised they needed to pay three months in advance to receive their orders stuck at the port in Singapore.
Together with their NAB banker, Phil Sinclair and the Trade and Working Capital team , NAB was able to provide an invoice financing facility to release the funds required to keep the business moving.
Red Chamber Director, Peter Revill said the solution has enabled them to continue to operate despite challenging circumstances.
“Most of our suppliers require payment on shipping, sometimes several weeks to months before the vessels release product.
“The cash flow benefits and flexibility this type of financing gives our company is critical in helping us keep the supply of product flowing through to our customers,” said Mr Revill.