Delays in B-to-B payments are truly an international problem, but some regions are worse than others.
According to research conducted by Atradius, the Americas present the greatest lag time in payments, with 12% of domestic and 16% of foreign payments being more than 90 days late. Asia Pacific businesses on average experience 9% of domestic payments and 11% of foreign payments being more than 90 days late. The lowest levels of late payments occurred in the European region, where on average domestic payments saw higher rates of late payments than foreign payments.
There are a number of reasons for this — Europe, while a patchwork of countries, has a high degree of interoperability between nations because of participation in the European Union and the numerous directives designed to facilitate cross-border payment standards. There are also a number of countries that have deployed their own real-time payments networks, including Faster Payments in the U.K., Nets Realtime 24/7 in Denmark and Swiss Interbank Clearing in Switzerland. These developments have meant that real alternatives to funds disbursement via paper check have had an impact on the speed of settlement.