For many companies, working through these extraordinary times, the answer quite simply is survival.
A survey conducted by McKinsey earlier this year makes for grim reading. The effect of the COVID-19 crisis on economic performance has been immense, especially in the SME sector. Of the companies participating in the survey, 80% reported stable revenues in the year prior to the pandemic, but now all are faced with declining revenues.
Expectations over the UK’s economic outlook remain bleak, especially with Brexit looming, and 60% of the SMEs surveyed feared that they could go out of business by April 2021 unless circumstances improve.
Foremost amongst firms’ concerns are
- concern about defaulting on loans (25%)
- concern about their ability to retain employees (24%) and doubt in their ability to sustain their supply chains (28%)
- expectations of reducing headcount in the aftermath of the pandemic (28%) and postponing growth projects (36%)
Public sector support has been forthcoming, with almost 75% of businesses employing 10 or more people taking advantage of the government’s furlough scheme to support employee wages.
Nevertheless, as the country and much of Europe braces itself for a second wave of the coronavirus, how can businesses plan and prepare for the next year?
One recurring priority that has emerged from the current crisis across all sectors is the need for greater speed and cost control.
In the UK, the FCA has been quick to pick up on this theme and has committed to ensuring that financial services businesses give firms and people the support they need. In their business plan for 2020/21, the FCA outlined 5 key priorities for the months ahead, one of which was a commitment to making payments safe and accessible, but also fair value in a digital age.
However, even with the best intentions, the financial services industry has been slow to respond as the bounce-back loans debacle has clearly illustrated. Significantly, the financial services sector, alongside Big Tech, has been one of the few economic sectors to perform relatively well throughout the crisis
It remains a well-known truism that a majority of companies, irrespective of size, are still unaware of the indirect costs of transacting internationally. Transaction fees vary hugely from provider to provider whether bank or broker, and the exchange rate applied can also vary hugely. Much like with insurance or energy providers, the chances are that unless you change suppliers regularly you are unlikely to be getting the best deal.
M3 Payments is a Fintech first company, leveraging financial technology expertise and powered by Currency Cloud’s world-class payment network. Employing the latest in Fintech technology, M3 Payments offers customers transparent pricing, faster payments and simple currency and beneficiary management.
“Our ethos is simple: to reduce the amount of time and money that companies spend on payments to free up resources for core business activities, preserve skilled headcount and maintain supplier relationships. We want to help our customers not only weather the storm, but be ready for when the upturn eventually comes. Opening an account is free, there are no transaction charges and three pricing plans to choose from based on estimated annual expenditure. We believe our customers have a right to know exactly what they are paying”, said Mark Bolsom, Director of M3 Payments.
On a single transfer of €200k, the resultant savings could equate to the value of one or more full time employees per month. Savings could also be re-invested in other areas of the business: marketing and hardware to name but two.
Payments are at the heart of every business. Now is the time to make sure you are getting value.