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Receivables Finance 2

Future Priorities For Receivables Finance

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In Volume 1 of its four Receivables Finance Global Outlook reports, EQ Riskfactor asked global finance leaders in the US, UK and Europe about their strategic priorities for 2021 after a turbulent 2020. This blog outlines the main takeaways.

Technology And Innovation

The majority of respondents, who specialise across the areas of credit, compliance, fraud and risk, are firmly focused on digitising their operations. 38% cite artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as a priority. A further 33% prioritise digital customer onboarding, and 23% on technologies to support remote working practices.

Equally, 37% of global leaders want to improve their ability to innovate. This will be particularly important moving forward in maintaining productivity and enhancing the customer journey – particularly within a remote working environment.

Firms that use innovation to deliver a better customer journey will be able to outpace their competitors, as today’s customers demand a better digital experience.

— Michael Ellis, Managing Director, EQ Riskfactor

“Digital customer onboarding is a notable example. Through AI and machine learning, receivables finance professionals can quickly and accurately analyse current data, make future predictions, and speed up the approvals process by comparing prospective onboarding profiles with similar already-approved applicants.

“There is also an increasing uptake towards moving data analytics systems to fully secure cloud networks, to enhance connectivity and data sharing capabilities in the most cost-effective way.”

Mitigating Risk

One result of COVID-19 has been an unpredictability when assessing credit quality across the board. This has necessitated lenders to keep a much closer eye on managing the associated risks of their clients – particularly those that may have been experiencing challenges before the pandemic. It is not surprising to see lenders consequently displaying caution in regards to their reputational and regulatory risks – particularly in Germany at 40% and the US at 35%.

I think reputational risk and treating clients fairly are key considerations for all financial services providers. Regrettably, as government stimuli and interest-free periods end, there will inevitably be business failures. It is important for the tax-payer that as much funding as possible is recovered, but it is crucial that these situations are handled appropriately.

— Matthew Davies, Head of Asset-based Lending of UK trade body, UK Finance

Employee Focus

Recruitment, development and retention are also key priority areas for 34% of respondents as a way of upskilling and driving innovation. Lenders may be familiar with training courses from their respective trade associations and institutions. These are increasingly complemented by online and virtual classroom sessions delivered by technology suppliers. It is important for lenders to incorporate these into their own on the job training programmes.

On a general note, the report shows an upbeat sentiment amongst respondents across the markets studied – even more so now as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout gains momentum. Coming out of the pandemic, receivables finance offers the perfect vehicle to help the economic recovery as businesses increase their invoicing activity and look for the most conducive financing method to support their future growth.

Read ‘Gearing Up For Growth’

The Receivables Finance Global Outlook Volume 1, 2021, titled Gearing up for Growth, highlights how the receivables finance industry has adapted since the pandemic, and offers forecasts for future growth. It provides valuable decision points for incumbent lenders and for businesses looking to bridge their funding gap for sustainable future growth in the post-COVID recovery. Each quarter, the report will revisit views, opinions and analysis as we see how the impact of the pandemic emerges over the coming months.

Read the report