Customer story

Stephane's cash-flow challenge

Customers seek the best experiences and will leave established platforms for those that offer them something better


Consumer adoption is driven by convenience. In an open-data world, this means new providers can get between traditional financial services providers to offer the high-value services and experiences customers find essential to their daily lives.

Stephane is 51. He's been running his small consulting business for 15 years. He mainly works for large blue-chip companies for about six months at a time. Business is good, although things can get quiet in the summer and his clients like to try and delay paying invoices. Right now, he's trying to win a new client. The project is worth £500k but to deliver he'll need to hire another person and buy a high-spec computer.

Planning to win

Stephane has a good feeling about his potential new customer and is starting to make plans that assume he wins the big deal.

Stephane loads up Xero to check in on the state of the business.

It's an age old problem - business is good but his clients' payment delays mean cashflow is lumpy. One client even wants him to stretch his terms to 180 days!

Payment term issues

Stephane runs the numbers and realises that he doesn't have enough cash-flow to buy the new PC and make the new hire required if he wins his new client. He realises he needs to source alternate funds.

Business loan

Stephane meets with his business bank provider to discuss a small business loan. He can't guarantee to the bank that his new client will come through, and the bank asks him to provide his home as security for the loan which he'd rather not do.

Alternate funding

Stephane heads back and considers other options. He looks at PayPal Working Capital but that's not right for him given his line of work. Next he considers Funding Circle. This option is quite tempting but the rates are higher than he'd like.

Stephane comes across MarketInvoice and realises he can sell one or two of his invoices to them for a fee and receive money instantly. He opts to do this in order to even out his cash-flow.

Tech titans and fintechs are focused on owning customer interactions in three areas: moment of purchase, the API experience, and facilitating conversations

Financial services providers have a wealth of data they're not currently using to full competitive advantage. Strategic partnerships and open-source opportunities should be part of their response
Simon James

Principal data scientist

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