Vocalink has published a set of payments innovation ideas that it says would provide a foundation for a more productive and efficient UK economy. These look at how payments innovation can empower small businesses, reduce the impact and incidence of online fraud, and reduce financial exclusion. The company says they should be factored into the government’s development of its strategy to provide the UK with the best possible platform to make the most of leaving the EU.
There are currently 5.4 million, making up 99% of all businesses in the UK. Many face the dual challenges of ensuring their continued liquidity, in part because of slow, late or delayed invoice payments; and also a lack of affordable finance for the smallest businesses which hampers their expansion and their contribution to the UK economy. Vocalink says that, in terms of incoming payments, the answer lies in part in the combination of greater use of the UK’s existing immediate payment capabilities, Request to Pay and e-invoicing, which could in theory cut the time taken to pay invoices from months and weeks, to hours and minutes.