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Sometimes, cash is tight when running a business, even when business is booming.

Customers have been placing purchase orders, and you’ve been fulfilling them and sending out the product and invoices. However, you notice that the customers take very long to pay, and your bank account is now empty, unable to purchase supplies for the next batch of orders from new customers. What do you do now?

Looking For Short-Term Cash Flow Solutions in Hong Kong? What Option Is Right For Your Business

Of course the easy way out is to tell your new customer: “We don’t have enough cash to make your new products right now”, but then you create a risk of losing business from that customer for the foreseeable future. After all, if you’re an unpredictable vendor, who would want to purchase from you?

So the best option is to find temporary solutions to cover the shortfall, financing to buy the goods, fulfil the purchase order, and then repay the financing. In most cases,, you should be earning more from completing the sale than the cost of the financing.

The Scenario:

You need to pay a HKD 100,000 bill to pay your supplier to fulfil your customer’s order. You need to pay right away, or you won’t be able to fulfil on time. You also have HKD 200,000 of invoices that you’re waiting to collect from your other customers in 30 days. And maybe a credit card you could use. So you start thinking of alternative financing options...

Option 1: Bank overdraft

You can call your bank, and ask for an overdraft facility. They will likely ask for 3 years of financial statements, and/or collateral and personal guarantees. Also they need up to 8 weeks to process. It’s unlikely you’re going to find suitable financing here especially if you are just starting out.

Option 2: Invoice factoring

Using the HKD 200,000 of invoices you are waiting to collect in 30 days, you are able to sell those for cash immediately to invoice factoring providers. There are a number of them here in HK, and how it works is that they’ll purchase your invoice today, and then collect the full amount when 30 days is over. Of course, they won’t give you the full HKD 200,000, because they need to be compensated for the wait, and the risk of not being able to collect.

Let’s look at FundPark as an example

You sell them a 30-day invoice for HKD 200,000, they will only give you ~80% of the invoice right away (~HKD 160,000). And then up to 16-18% when the invoice is collected. It can also takes more than 2 days for the purchase to be actually approved.

Perhaps alternatives like Velotrade could be better

You get HKD 158,000 right away, but you’ll also get HKD 39,211 at the end of the 30 days (IF they collect the invoice on time). It takes maybe 24 hours to get approved.

Doesn’t seem so bad? But the requirements are much higher.

You see similar requirements on Qupital. They no longer advertise their pricing on their website.

But what if you don’t have 12 months of operating history? Or generating millions of USD in revenue?

Option 3: Reap

Instead of borrowing money to pay upfront the HKD 100,000 to your supplier, what if you deferred the HKD 100,000 payment by around 30 - 60 days? This would have the same effect as selling your invoice due in 30 days. You could do this by paying with a credit card first, and then settle the bill when the statement is due in 30 - 60 days. But this is usually not an option if your vendor doesn’t accept credit cards.

Reap, however, allows your to make that HKD 100,000 payment with a credit card, directly to your vendor, without them needing to do anything (no merchant accounts, credit card terminal, etc). And for your business, it means you have just received a 30 - 60 day payment term. There is a fee of 2.6% - 3.5% depending on which credit card you use, but it’s also paid at the end of the 30 - 60 days.

The payment is also financed instantly, same with any credit card transaction, without needing to wait for approval. And lastly, you will get all the same rewards (travel miles, cash back) as normal spending on credit cards.

For businesses without big invoices (such as food and beverage, retail), without long operating history or without high annual turnover, this can be the best option for them. The downside is, this does require a credit card that is available to be used. However, Reap may be able to provide a credit card solution specifically for SMEs soon. Keep watching our website, or email me at kevin@reap.hk for more details.

In Summary

Lastly, it should be mentioned that the three options are NOT mutually exclusive. You can use a combination or any one of the three. Bank overdraft AND Reap,  Invoice factoring AND Bank overdraft, All three, or Only Reap, these are all possible ways to solve your short term cash flow worries.


即使業務發展蓬勃,在營運時總會遇到現金緊絀、周轉不靈的時候。

客戶一直落訂單買貨,你亦一直努力滿足他們,為他們發送產品和開立發票。但是,你發現客戶收貨後拖延一段頗長時間才能付清款項,而你的銀行賬戶卻空空如也,無辦法為新客戶購置材料去準備下一批訂單。你現在該怎樣做呢?

想在香港尋找短期內可改善現金流的方法?那一種方案適合你的企業呢

當然,最直截了當的方法是告知你的新客戶:「我們現在沒有足夠的現金去應付你的新產品訂單」,但是短期之內,這個客戶極有可能不再落單,生意就這樣付諸流水。畢竟,如果客戶不知道你是否有能力去應付他們的訂單,誰又會想跟你買貨做生意呢?

因此,最理想的做法是尋求短期方案作周轉之用,先籌組資金去買貨和履行採購訂單,出貨收款後再歸還借用的款項。在大多數情況下,你從銷售中得到的貨款應該足以蓋過你借用的款項,讓你可以償還借貸。

參考以下情景:

你需要支付100,000港元予供應商去買材料用以準備客戶的訂單。你需要立即付款,否則將無法按時出貨。你手頭上有一張尚未到期收款的發票,但要再等30天方能從其他客戶那裡收到200,000港元的貨款。同時,你手頭上還有一張信用卡。這個時候你開始考慮其他籌組資金周轉的方法......

方案1:銀行透支

你可以致電你的銀行,並要求透支服務。他們很可能會要求你提供過往3年的財務報表和/或抵押和個人擔保。銀行一般需要長達8週的時間來處理申請。你可以透過銀行透支去解決燃眉之急的可能性不大,特別是如果你的生意才剛剛起步。

方案2:發票轉讓

運用那一張尚有30日就可以到期收取200,000港元的發票,你可以將它轉售予發票轉讓服務商。這類服務商在香港的為數不少,它們的運作模式是會即日購買你手頭上的發票,然後在到期日後以你的名義收取全額款項。當然,他們不會全數200,000港元去買你的發票,他們會從中扣減一些金錢來補償他們等待的損失,以及承受呆壞賬的風險。

讓我們看一看 FundPark 的例子:

你將尚有30日到期收款的200,000港元發票賣出,他們即時給予你160,000港元,即原有款項的8成。待實際收取款項後,他們會先扣除服務費再給你原有款項的16-18%餘額。但有時候發票轉讓需要2天以上的時間作實際批核,不一定是即賣即批。

或許另一個選擇像Velotrade 這樣會比較好

你同樣是出售那張發票,轉讓時立即收到158,000港元30日後你會再收到39,211港元(如果服務商可按時收齊款項)。整個過程由申請到批核需24小時

似乎還不錯?但他們的申請門檻實際上要高很多。

你可以參考Qupital看看類似的申請要求。他們不再在他們的網站上宣傳購買發票的定價。

但如果你沒有12個月的營運紀錄呢? 又或者你沒有數以百萬美元計的收入?

方案3:Reap

不以借錢的方式預先向供應商支付100,000港元,你有沒有考慮過可以將這100,000港元的費用延遲30-60日才繳付呢?這個做法與轉售30日後到期的發票效果相同。你可以先用信用卡付款,然後在信用卡的月結單到期時,即30 – 60日後再結清賬單。但倘若你的供應商不接受以信用卡付費,這個方案似乎又不太可行。

但是,透過Reap,你就大可以直接用信用卡向你的供應商支付這100,000港元的費用,他們作為收款人亦不會有額外的協調工作需要做(不用申請商戶賬號或添置信用卡終端機等)。而對你的業務而言,這意味著你剛拿到30 - 60天的付款寬限期。看你使用那一張信用卡,發卡銀行會從中收取2.6% - 3.5%的費用,但這費用亦只需在30 – 60日後才需要繳付。

整個支付過程是即時處理的,就好像任何信用卡交易一樣,無需等待批核。最後,你亦可理所當然地享有平常以信用卡消費的相同獎賞(飛行里數和現金回贈等)。

對於某些沒有大額發票的小商戶(如賣食品和飲料、零售),他們沒有經年累月的營運歷史,亦沒有數字可觀的年度營業額,這可能是他們的最佳選擇。唯一美中不足的是,你必需要先持有一張信用卡。然而,Reap很可能在不久的將來就可以特別為中小企推出信用卡,方便中小企以信用卡作為支付的方案。請繼續留意我們的網站,或發電子郵件給我kevin@reap.global以了解更多詳情。

總結

最後,順帶一提這三個方案並不是互不相容的。意思是你可以組合使用或揀選三者中最適合你的方案。你可以選擇銀行透支和Reap、或者選擇發票轉讓加銀行透支,甚至同時使用三個方案,或僅僅選擇Reap,悉隨尊便。因為這些通通都是可以解決你燃眉之急,短期內改善現金流的可行方案。

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