RIABU Launches Pledge2Pay in Support of SMEs in Singapore Through Covid-19

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SINGAPORE, April 28, 2020 – RIABU – the Singapore-based social fintech that helps SMEs get their invoices paid on time – iscalling on Singapore’s largest companies to pay invoices issued by their SME suppliers within thirty days, to help them survive the Covid-19 slowdown.

To showcase those companies which have joined the pledge, RIABU has launched Pledge2Pay.sg.

“We are calling on large companies with the cash reserves and staying power to survive the crisis, to help Singapore SMEs1”, said RIABU Managing Partner Mark Laudi.

“All we are asking is that when they purchase products and services from SMEs that they settle their invoices within thirty days.”

“Cashflow is the lifeblood of every business especially for every SME at a time of economic crisis,” said Victor Mills, Chief Executive of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce. “The best way we in the business community can help one another is to pay invoices promptly. I very much welcome the Pledge2Pay initiative from one of our members which advocates invoices be paid within 30 days of the date of issue. It is timely and it is essential. I call on all businesses to take the pledge and action it now.”

The Covid-19 crisis is putting pressure on the cash flow of SMEs like never before. Monthly overheads are due within 30 days, but large companies often pay only after 60 days, or longer. According to PwC’s 2019 Working Capital Report, companies in Asia take around 70 days to pay their invoices.

If SMEs don’t get paid within 30 days amid shrinking sales and orders, they will struggle to make ends meet.

SMEs make up 99% of registered companies in Singapore, account for just under half of economic output (45%), and employ almost 3-in-4 Singapore residents2 (72%).

There are four important reasons for large companies – both home grown and local subsidiaries of foreign companies – to join the pledge to pay within 30 days:

  • Protect the supply chain – By paying trusted SME suppliers within 30 days, they ensure they can continue to be supplied with their products and services.
  • Attract competitive bids – If SME suppliers go bust, competition increases. Companies end up having fewer suppliers to source from, resulting in higher input prices. Paying suppliers within thirty days keeps the market competitive.
  • Protect the customer base – SMEs aren’t just suppliers, they are also customers. Paying suppliers within 30 days ensures they can keep buying from larger companies.
  • Build long term sustainability – SMEs which register to be paid within 30 days help larger companies fill important gaps in their sustainability reports.

“This is sustainability in action,” said Laudi, “They have already committed to buying certain products and services. All we are asking is that they pay for those products and services within thirty days.”

Large companies can join the pledge to pay at www.pledge2pay.sg

[1] SMEs = Singapore-registered companies with up to S$100 mln in annual revenues, up to 200 staff, and at least 30% local shareholder ownership.

[2] https://www.singstat.gov.sg/modules/infographics/economy

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