In Asia Pacific, the number of businesses taking a more strategic approach to credit management is increasing. While global GDP growth is forecast to slow from 3.2% in 2018 to 2.7% this year, global insolvencies are expected to rise 2%. As an integral part of the global supply chain, Asia-Pacific businesses that trade on credit need to perform a sound assessment of the risk of payment default of B2B customers. This has become more complex, requiring a more strategic approach to credit management.
As revealed by the May 2019 Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey for Asia Pacific, the total value of B2B sales on credit in the region increased to 55.5%, up from 48.1% last year. The biggest increase in Australia rising to 71.5% from 47.7% last year. Overall, the more frequent use of trade credit raises the risk of customers’ payment default. On average, 29.8% of the total value of B2B invoices issued by respondents in Asia Pacific was overdue. This percentage is highest in India (39.0%) and lowest in Japan (13.2%).
Assessing the buyer’s creditworthiness, prior to giving credit terms, is essential to the credit sales process. Respondents in Singapore (53%) and China (51%) are the most likely to perform this. Reserving against bad debts, should the assessments turn into a nonpayment, is practiced by 41% of respondents in Taiwan and Indonesia, versus 33% in the region.
To remain financially sound and avoid liquidity issues caused by payment defaults of customers, 41% of respondents had to pay their own suppliers late. This was most often expressed by respondents in India (51%) and Indonesia (46%). Ultimately, an average of 2.1% of the total value of respondents B2B sales on credit (up from 1.9% last year) was written off as uncollectable. This suggests that businesses are less successful in collecting invoices than last year.
On average, 31% of respondents in Asia Pacific expect customers’ payment behaviour to deteriorate, and long overdue invoices (more than 90 days overdue) to increase. Most concerned are respondents from India (52%), followed by Indonesia (35%). To protect their business against the rising trade credit risk, 42% of respondents in the region said they will increase the use of credit insurance. This percentage rises to 51% in China and Hong Kong. Australia follows suit with 47%.
Source: Atradius Press Release