SME financing: the central role of fintech platforms specialized in electronic credit invoice discounting
Fintech companies have been pioneers in offering disruptive, agile, efficient and 100% digital operating models through existing technologies.In terms of financing alternatives available for companies, the Electronic Credit Invoice has undoubtedly consolidated during this last year as a fundamental instrument for SME financing, joining other digital options available in the market such as eCheq.
The year 2020 has been a pivotal year for the application of technology to processes and products across different industries, and especially for digital finance. The world and in particular Argentina has rapidly consolidated financial operations digitally through efficient and economic operating models and with volumes unthinkable just a few months ago.
Fintech companies (technology applied to financial services) have been pioneers in offering disruptive, agile, efficient, and 100% digital operation models through existing technologies, applied to different verticals in terms of the variety of services offered.
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The current context
In terms of financing alternatives available for companies, the Electronic Credit Invoice has undoubtedly consolidated during this last year as a fundamental instrument for SME financing, joining other digital options available in the market such as eCheq, which also experienced significant growth.
In particular, the Electronic Credit Invoice has particular and unique benefits, such as the possibility for companies to obtain financing at very competitive rates, without affecting their credit line, and without joint and several liability in the event of non-payment at maturity by large companies.
The law provides that invoices may be traded in the traditional capital market
The Productive Financing Law (Law 27,440) provides that invoices may be traded both in the traditional capital market (Article 12) and in private trading platforms (Article 13). Both channels have been used since 2018 by SMEs that obtained immediate financing – mainly for financial needs during the pandemic – for a total of more than $3 billion.
The financing market has thus had available for more than a year now the possibility for private platforms such as BILL Group to offer not only the negotiation and settlement of invoices in an agile and economical way, but also the offering of services that add value to the SME when managing its invoices receivable, and that also facilitate the decision-making process with the aim of generating savings and financial efficiency.
Recently, the regulatory authorities for the application of the instrument have enabled the possibility of a new over-the-counter channel for the negotiation of electronic credit invoices. This channel will be incorporated in the future through the financial system (banks) and regulated by the Central Bank of Argentina. This is an excellent development for the market in general, as both the regulatory authorities and the financial market confirm and trust in the great potential of this instrument as an efficient source of financing for SMEs.
“From BILL Group we welcome the financial entities that will be added in the future as an over-the-counter trading channel to the already existing and operational private platforms, and we ratify through the attached note together with the Argentine Fintech Chamber our commitment to collaborate with the authorities and the financial market to jointly achieve an inclusive, democratic and collaborative financing system for the SME segment, the main segment of traction of the economy and employment generation in the country,” stated the company.
The full press release
In a country like Argentina, where the lack of financing for productive chains is a historical deficit, the arrival of Fintech platforms for negotiating electronic credit invoices (FCE) has become a digital solution, without paper, signatures or intermediaries, which has simplified the operations of a large number of SMEs.
These platforms -including invoition.com, invoitrade.com and bill.com.ar, members of the Argentine Fintech Chamber- play a facilitating, friendly, simplifying and democratizing role in financing. Any MSME issuing electronic credit invoices, regardless of its size, credit rating and current invoicing level, can create a fully online account and end up discounting these instruments on the same day among multiple types of financiers (invoice buyers), with permanent advice from expert staff.
Fintech companies have led the implementation of this type of technological platforms.
It is to be expected that this business will evolve at a similar pace to that of countries in the region, such as Mexico, Chile and Brazil, where it has had exceptional levels of acceptance, replacing a large proportion of eCheq operations. Argentina should not be the exception, especially considering that there are currently 138,000 SMEs issuing electronic credit invoices equivalent to $250,000 million per month, which reflects the great potential of the local market.
In spite of the particular scenario generated by the pandemic, the instrument demonstrated an undeniable robustness and thousands of operations have been carried out during 2020 with an excellent user experience. It is worth noting that the FCE discount on the platforms is qualified as an ‘SME product’, therefore it can access preferential rates without affecting its current credit lines. In addition, the SME is not jointly and severally liable for the payment, since the responsibility for the payment is 100% of the large company.
Fintech companies have led the implementation of this type of technological platforms, becoming key environments not only for the financing of thousands of SMEs affected by COVID-19, but also for large payment companies and their ecosystems, who see technology as a differential factor, both operationally and in terms of support for future scenarios.
As of April 1 of this year, the Open Invoice Discounting System will come into force, which will allow banks with an SME profile to offer invoice discounting in their respective home banking systems or to return them to existing platforms or to the market, if for any reason the offer is null or not convenient for the company involved. Undoubtedly, it is excellent news that the traditional financial system is joining this modality, in order to expand the essential solutions for SMEs, self-employed and single-taxpayers to obtain more agile, accessible and convenient financing alternatives.
There are still many aspects to be developed and optimized. In this sense, the leaders of the fintech platforms in operation, such as Bruno Cosentino (INVOITION.com), Pablo Sanucci (Invoitrade) and Hernán Visconti (BILL) are already working to submit proposals to the respective application entities. The ultimate goal is to generate, among all stakeholders, the necessary tools for a robust, democratic and inclusive ecosystem.
(Featured image by podcastswithnick via Pixabay)
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First published in iProUP, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.
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