European SMEs face challenges with payments speed, study shows

Thursday 1 September 2022 13:12 CET | News

Banking-as-a-Service provider Vodeno has issued a study showing that European SMEs have concerns about the speed of payments and the need to modernise the system.


The survey was carried out on over 2,000 SME managers across the UK, France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Regarding international payments, 35% of respondents said that they take around 2 to 3 days to process. Only 11% of those surveyed said the process takes an hour, and only 10% that their payments and instantly processed.

Over half (52%) said that the slow speed of payments processing meant they had failed to honour commitments. 54% said slow payments had led to cash shortages which had forced them to take out a loan.

The speed of payments is one of the most popular reasons for choosing one payments channel over another, with 44% of respondents citing it as the reason. 44% cite profitability, and 39%, security guarantees.

62% cited delays and unpredictable cash flows as their company’s biggest problem. 62% said that a great proportion of their resources was consumed by volatility in exchange rates.

60% said that the modernisation of payment processing capabilities is a pressing cause for companies. 68% are seeking to adopt real-time payment processing capabilities over the next year.

Asked what would most improve their company’s capacity to offer products and services, respondents answered the automation of paper-based administrative tasks (16%), the ability to offer different payment options (15%) and the ability to switch between payments service providers (15%).

The European Commission’s Annual Report on European SMEs presents a mixed picture of the state of small businesses in Europe. While the number of new SME startups dropped by roughly 60% in 2021, existing SMEs enjoyed a 90% jump in funding.


Banking-as-a-Service provider Aion Bank has issued a study showing that European SMEs have concerns about the speed of payments and the need to modernise the system.


SMEs and payments worldwide

A McKinsey report notes that globally, SMEs ‘access to affordable international payments’ is improving.’ The report highlights that systems such as SWIFT and Mastercard’s B2B hub, usually difficult for SMEs to access, are starting to provide payments options friendlier to SMEs. Further, it notes that small businesses don’t often use local payments and tend to rely on international payment channels.

The Mastercard Borderless Payments Report 2022, a survey of over 3,000 SMEs worldwide, reported that 43% of businesses surveyed have ramped up business abroad. The report reveals that 67% of SMEs surveyed said they would use cross-border payments more if they were faster. 68% said that they survived the pandemic due to the global payment network.

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Keywords: study, survey, ecommerce, SMEs, instant payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Vodeno
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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