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What Is Invoice Discounting?

Invoice discounting allows a business to take a loan against its unpaid invoices from a financial institution (usually a bank or a discounting firm). The financial institution lends up to 95% of the total invoice value in advance for a fee.

Invoice Factoring

The remaining invoice payment is collected from customers by the business. Invoice discounting is also known as invoice financing.

The key difference between invoice discounting and invoice factoring is who collects invoice payments from customers. In Invoice discounting, the business is responsible for collecting and handling payments whereas, in invoice factoring, the financial institution bears the responsibility.

How Does Invoice Discounting Work?

Invoice discounting works in 4 simple steps:

Sell goods & services: You sell your goods and services to customers and generate invoices as usual.

Invoice discounting agreement: You enter into an agreement with the discounting firm that verifies your unpaid invoices.

You get the money: The discounting firm lends up to 90% of the invoice value upfront at a discounted rate. You can use this money to fuel business growth.

Payment collection: In invoice discounting, the business collects invoice payments from the customers and bears responsibility in case of non-payment.

Other types of factoring:

  • Spot Factoring
  • Debt Factoring

Spot Factoring enables a business to sell individual invoices selectively. This type of factoring allows businesses to choose which invoices to factor based on their cash flow needs. It is also known as single invoice factoring or selective invoice factoring.

Debt factoring, also known as receivables factoring or invoice factoring, involves a business selling its accounts receivable (unpaid invoices) to a third party. The factoring company buys these invoices at a discounted rate, providing immediate cash to the business.

  • Recourse factoring
  • Non-Recourse Factoring
  • Account Receivables Factoring

In recourse factoring, the business that sells its invoices to the factoring company remains liable if the customer fails to pay the invoice. If the customer defaults, the business must buy back the invoice or replace it with another. The risk of non-payment remains with the business.

With non-recourse factoring, the factor assumes the risk of non-payment by the customer. If the customer fails to pay due to insolvency or credit issues, the factor absorbs the loss, and the business is not responsible for repayment.

The term account receivables factoring is used interchangeably with invoice factoring. It involves the business selling its unpaid invoices (account receivables) to a third party at a discounted rate to receive early payments. Upon receiving the invoices, the factoring company releases the bulk of payments, usually up to 90% of the collective invoice value). The rest is paid (after fee deduction) when the payment is collected in full from the end customers.

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How invoice discounting can help your business

Invest in stock, HR, & equipment

Access capital for essential business needs.

Focus on High-Value Operations

Free up time by outsourcing collections.

Improve Cash Flow

Convert unpaid invoices into immediate funds.

Fuel Growth

Use funds to expand, and invest in stock, HR, or equipment.

Is Invoice Discounting Right For Your Business?

Need instant cash

Is your business experiencing cash flow problems due to late payments? Invoice discounting is an easy and quick way to inject cash into your business.

Monthly turnover £4,000+

Invoice discounting is best suited for businesses that sell on credit and have a turnover of £4,000+ per month.

Customer Relationship is important

The payment collection process remains under your control in invoice discounting as compared to invoice factoring, in which the third party collects and manages invoice payments. If you value your customer relationship and brand image, invoice discounting could be a better option for you.

Invoice discounting FAQs

The key difference between invoice factoring and invoice discounting is:

  • In invoice discounting, a business borrows money against its unpaid invoices from a third party at a discounted rate, without selling the invoices. The responsibility to collect payments for the invoices remains with the business.
  • In invoice factoring, a business sells its invoices to a third party for immediate cash flow. The factoring company takes responsibility for collecting and managing payments from customers in this case.

Invoice discounting is another name for invoice financing. Both involve using unpaid invoices as collateral for obtaining funds from a third party. The business then collects the customer payments for the invoices and pays back the invoice finance provider the borrowed sum plus an additional fee.

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