The Netherlands Corporate Payment Survey 2020: More payment delays alongside COVID-19
This study is the very first Coface survey on corporate payment experience in the Netherlands. Originally, this survey had been conducted between February and early-March 2020 (the first quarter of 2020, Q1 2020), with 301 participating companies located in the country. However, at the end of the survey period, COVID-19 struck the world and changed the economic outlook drastically. Accordingly, in order to factor in this change of companies’ payment experience, we conducted a new survey between early-May and lateJune (the second quarter of 2020, Q2 2020), in which 114 companies participated. The results differ remarkably within these few months. Admittedly, some might be due to the different set of participants, but others mirror the new economic status-quo.
Payment terms are an interesting case in the Netherlands. Only 42% of participants in the Q1 2020 survey answered that they offer payment terms, and this figure increased only slightly to 48% in Q2 2020. Short-term credit periods dominate the Dutch business landscape, with 85% of companies that offer payment terms requesting a payment within 60 days. Between the first and the second quarter of 2020, the distribution changed, with a decrease in the short- to middle-term period (between 31 and 60 days) and an increase within the very short-term segment (1 to 30 days). While this change could be related to the much smaller set of participants, it also gives the impression that participants may be nervous about payment morale and prefer to cash in as early as possible. These concerns are not unfounded. The number of participants who reported payment delays increased from 71% in Q1 to 75% in Q2 of 2020, which means that in our sample, three out of four companies are struggling with payment delays.
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