Here are the week’s main news stories in the world of small business and e-payments:
Late payments impacting small businesses
The total amount owed to small businesses in late payments is £24,871 on any given day, according to cloud accounting software provider Xero. This “late payment cash mountain” means that many small businesses have cashflow problems. They also struggle to raise capital needed to make investments to grow the business. Xero calculated that £141 billion is tied up in late payments and found that the average amount tied up in late payments is greater than 10 per cent of turnover, on average, for small businesses. At any one time, 78 per cent of small businesses are awaiting payments for longer than the agreed payment terms, which are typically 30 days.
Three-quarters of entrepreneurs want to stay on after selling their business
Entrepreneurs don’t want to leave their own businesses after they’ve sold them, according to research from Livingstone’s Heart of the Deal report. Some 75 per cent of business founders said they want to stay on after they sell their business, with 44 per cent wanting to remain involved up to three years after the sale. Business founders in the tech sector are more likely to want to stay, with just 19 per cent saying they want a clean break after selling, compared to 26 per cent in the consumer sector, and 33 per cent in the business services sector. The main concern over selling is that the buyer won’t take care of their business, with 41 per cent of founders citing this.
Bill proposes changes to enhance Singapore’s payment services regulations
A new regulatory framework for payment services has been introduced in Singapore to keep up with an evolving payment landscape and guard against emerging risks. The new Payment Services Bill will streamline regulations of payment services under a single activity-based legislation, while expanding the scope of regulated activities to include both traditional and newer forms of payment service providers. The proposed amendments will provide a more conducive environment for innovation in payment services and ensure that risks across the payments value chain are mitigated, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Market opportunity motivates millennial women to start small businesses
Female entrepreneurs start small businesses based on market opportunity, family considerations and necessity, according to new survey data from US-based network of volunteer, expert business mentors SCORE. The 2018 'Megaphone of Main Street: Women's Entrepreneurship Report' found that among millennials, 28 per cent reported starting a business when they did because they saw an opportunity in the market. Among Generation X, 26 per cent cited family considerations as most influential on their decisions about when to start businesses, while 28 per cent of baby boomers reported starting their businesses out of necessity, such as being made redundant with no pension.
American Express launches new virtual payments offering for business expenses
American Express has announced American Express Go, a new digital solution to help mid-sized and large companies efficiently handle business expenses for temporary workers, recruits, and employees without corporate cards. American Express Go features a virtual card that can be used online or over the phone, and has the option for the virtual numbers to be printed on companion plastic cards for in-person payments everywhere American Express is accepted. American Express Go also offers a simple, intuitive mobile experience for freelancers and project-based workers to make business purchases with company funds, thereby removing the need for a reimbursement process.