The biggest stumbling block faced in the B2B space in India is late payments; like a silent killer, it lowers profit margins and eats away the bottom line, eventually, sapping the business owners’ drive and raison d’être. CreditMonk.com was launched in May 2016 to address just this issue.
The promising new platform CreditMonk.com aims to make credit a good word by enabling business owner’s review and rate payment habits of businesses that they have dealt with. This makes companies publicly accountable and facilitates a foolproof way to assess a company’s payment habit before dealing with them or extending them credit.
The Credit Problem
According to survey results of the Payment Practices Barometer India 2015 report released on 21st October 2015:
- Around 98% of respondents in India reported having granted trade credit to customers over the past year
- 97% of respondents in India (significantly above the 90.2% of respondents in Asia Pacific) reported having experienced late payment of invoices by their B2B customers over the past year,
- 2% of the average total topline of B2B receivables in India, was reported as uncollectible
Also an average of 72.5% of the total value of B2B invoices remained outstanding after the due date. (Source: The Late Payment Report 2016, Market Invoices.)
As an entrepreneur, the Co-Founder – Riddhi D personally faced major setbacks due to credit issues and now her goal is to help improve the problems faced by manufacturers, distributors and professionals alike. Businesses spend years on setting up a great business, offering a good product and giving good service. But after spending considerable time and effort on trying to bag accounts with big companies as customers, they face massive set backs and loose a lot of money.
There is no guarantee of payments, no way to get information on a company’s payment habit prior to doing business with them and no way to make them accountable or ensure others stopped giving them credit. Businesses buy from one supplier, not pay and move on to the next one. And due to lack of transparency and no information on payment habits, everyone continues to supply to them.
The Existing Safeguards
Safeguards against late payments and the subsequent bad debts are few and far in India. Credit reports are not available for most of companies. If available, the reports are cost prohibitive and are based on financial reports that are often limited in scope. These reports do not account for a company’s intention to pay and only cover the likelihood of default. Some companies are rated differently by various agencies, further adding to the confusion. Moreover, Credit Rating Agencies cover less than 1% of the businesses in India and they are based on financial accounting documents that could give ability to pay but doesn’t give their intention to pay. This issue is further plagued by:
- Doctored financial documents
- Poor companies, Rich owners
- No easy legal recourse
- No downside to not paying
- Pay when I receive attitude
- Reference / Intent to pay not known
- Senior management not accessible / aware
So, yes there is no organized way for businesses to know whether they should allow credit to the companies they are dealing with or not.
CreditMonk is a crowd sourced web-based solution built on user reviews that can rate your company’s payment habit. Here the business that issues credit, rates the credit worthiness of the company, the real on ground reality of whether they were paid on time, how the process to get payment was and if they have had any bad payment experiences with this company.
“The transparent process allows users to check and give feedback on a company’s payment habit, history and other credit related information. It helps understanding a company’s “intention to pay”, which is a step closer to making informed credit decisions and an improved balance sheet” Ridhi D, Co-founder, CreditMonk.com
The website has a database of 15 lac companies; missing companies can be easily added. They started operations in May 2016 and have reviews added daily for large and smaller companies as well. From values of payment default of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 11 Lakhs. The founders hope to grow month on month at over 30% and focus on our tie-ups to build awareness.
How CreditMonk Works
The CreditMonk website takes you through a few simple steps on how one can register and submit reviews. It enlists its goals and certain guiding principles that underline its processes based on fairness and honesty, fraud detection, disputes and anonymity too.
It is a really simple process. You sign up for free – find the companies you have worked with and rate them. You rate them on – How their overall payment habit was, what credit you usually offer them, what your terms are, have you declared them as a bad debt ever, were the senior management approachable etc. Click submit and it’s done.
It takes less than a minute to add a company that’s not listed on the website and you can rate them immediately after. Rating them will make businesses publicly accountable and will make companies take heed of the feedback on their payment habit. As reviews build up, you can the check payment habits of business and the company history on their intention to pay on our website and decide your terms with them before you enter the big black hole of late payments and bad debt.
Related Read: How Accounting Will Impact The Growth Of Your Startup !
As a company owner, you can claim your company’s profile on CreditMonk, reply to reviews, take negative reviews as positive feedback and eventually enjoy better credit facilities if you are a good paymaster.
CreditMonk is of immense value to the Indian economy at large and especially to the 5.77 crore small businesses and traders that account for 45 percent of India’s GDP. It has the power to change the way people think about doing business in the country. Deep rooted in ethics and fair trade practices; it transfers the responsibility of right action and propels the majority of the people to be the change they want to see in society.