Small business requests for early payments surge

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Small businesses in food and beverage supply, packaging manufacture, transport and cleaning supply have led a charge to Australia’s largest early payment marketplace, with requests for over $50 million of early payments made by SMEs in the 24 hours after COVID-19 was officially categorised as a pandemic on 11 March. This represented a 650 per cent increase on its usual 24 hour request volume.

The run has continued, with the platform – Earlytrade – receiving requests for over $260 million in early payments from the 37,000 businesses that use it in the last week.

“We’ve not seen transaction volumes spike like this before. Forget toilet paper, everyone wants early payment,” Earlytrade co-founder and CEO, Guy Saxelby, said.

“We have been working around the clock to facilitate these payments as quickly as possible to help out small businesses across Australia. We’ve currently processed over a quarter of a billion in requests, but more are coming in every day.”

The platform has developed a product designed to release billions in cashflow to small businesses and is in talks with policy makers and government agencies, given the current social need for early payment to small businesses.

All invoices on Earlytrade platform are paid within 30 days, in line with the timeframe recommended by the Australian Small Business Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

“It is not business as usual for us,” Saxelby said. “We believe faster payment in these uncertain times is key to re-igniting the economy when we emerge from this pandemic. We are trying to help the government use technology to identify which parts of the supply chains need it the most.”