Payment Performance: Protect yourself against Days Beyond Terms

Our payment performance information, which continually analyses data on nearly two million businesses, reveals that UK firms were paying their bills almost 28 days late at the end of 2013, two days slower than was the case at the end of 2012.

Health concerns

  • The Health and Household sector saw the biggest deterioration, with firms taking over five and a half days longer to pay than a year ago. Although – at just over 26 days beyond terms – it still remains on the right side of the UK average.
  • A big increase in the last quarter of 2013 caused the average payment times for the Property sector to jump three days to reach 36 days beyond terms.
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing fared a little better with firms in this sector managing to shave half a day off times in 2013 and now paying just 11 days beyond agreed terms.

Regional analysis

  • The North West of England remains the slowest paying region with payment times slipping by three and a half days, with bills now being met 38 days beyond terms on average.
  • London’s business community also saw a significant increase in payment times. Businesses in the Capital were three days slower than the previous year and paying 32 days late.
  • Deteriorating payment performance can be an early warning sign of financial distress, so it is important to keep a close eye on customers that might be starting to struggle.

Which of your customers are experiencing cash flow problems? Can you distinguish between your quickest and slowest payers? 

Experian’s Payment Performance Programme offers the means to share and access predictive payment information. It allows you to see payment trends of your customers, by showing how many ‘Days Beyond Terms’ (DBT) they pay their invoices. Available on the majority of UK businesses, the information showcases the number of trading experiences over the last 12 months; the DBT trend is based on information provided in the last month.

We collect over 6,000 ledgers, and process over 22 million transactions every month. By anonymously sharing ledger information, participants can access timely and accurate transactional data about their customers’ payment history, to help them understand who they’re really dealing with and how quickly they’re paying other suppliers, which often highlights organisations at risk.

Payment Performance Information can help you understand your customer’s payment patterns. You can compare how you’re being paid against other companies, identify customers experiencing cash flow problems and ultimately protect your business from bad debt.

For more information on Payment Performance Information from Experian Business Express please contact us on 0844 481 0087.