Barclays Invoice Financing Review 2021: Is it Right for Your Business?

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By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 11 January 2021

One of the largest high street banks in the UK, Barclays has a history that stretches back centuries. During their many years of prominence in the banking industry, they have built up an enviable reputation that encompasses all areas of business funding, including invoice financing.


Barclays invoice discounting features

Invoice discounting differs from factoring in that the factor does not take on the job of finance control, meaning the client need not disclose the discounting service to their customers. Barclays invoice discounting is highly regarded, with many features that can benefit clients across a range of sectors. These include:

Quick release of funds

The main function of invoice financing is the ability to access funds as quickly as possible. To this end, Barclays guarantees that, should the invoice meet the standards of the contract, all funds will be released the next working day. This allows for a greater degree of planning for its clients.

Non-Recourse discounting

Non-recourse discounting is a hugely beneficial option, for those who can access it, as the provider takes on the liability of bad debts, in this case debts owed to you by customers who have become insolvent.

Although this is a difficult service to access for smaller or less-established businesses, Barclays does endeavour to listen carefully to all applicants.

Other invoice finance providers offering non-recourse services – including bad debt protection – are Hitachi Capital and Optimum Finance.

Flexibility

For businesses who expect to grow over the short or medium term, it is vital that the provider is able to meet the needs of their clients, especially as invoice financing contracts tend to be quite lengthy. Barclays have designed its service to meet these needs, as well as offering a reliability of funding that provides its clients with peace of mind.

Maintain a level of control

Unlike many invoice financing practices, discounting permits the business to control all areas of their financial planning. Although for some this can be a disadvantage, Barclays maintain a distance from the running of its clients' businesses, something that many find preferable.

Compatibility of currencies

The ability to access internationally based invoices is a huge advantage to those with clients across many borders, but many providers are unable to process these payments.

One of the advantages of dealing with an internationally renowned funder, such as Barclays, is its knowledge and capabilities across many regions. This means export businesses, for example, can access funding that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Online overview

Having a transparent and easy to understand online overview is a must for invoice financing as the funding process is fluid and ongoing. By accessing all relevant information, 24 hours a day, a degree of planning, as well as peace of mind, can be highly beneficial.


Suitability

There are many levels and types of invoice finance providers available to UK customers. This is due to the fact that no two businesses are exactly the same. Different sectors, sizes and scopes will all inform what type and level of invoice funding will be required.

Barclays invoice discounting is particularly well suited to larger enterprises and cannot be accessed by those with an annual turnover of less than £1m. This allows Barclays to keep its rates relatively low, as small businesses generally come with greater risks, and are a less profitable proposition to providers.

Businesses will also need to have a varied spread of clients and debtors in order for Barclays to make funding available, so as to spread the risk of bad debts.

In short, Barclays invoice discounting is well suited to medium to large businesses within established sectors, with special attention paid to wholesalers, manufacturers, and the construction industry, plus a wide variety of B2B (business to business) services.

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Support

Support is important when it comes to invoice financing as the need for reliable payments is the main point of the service. Should anything cause a delay in the process of these payments the business will need to know, as soon as possible, what the issue is and when it can be dealt with.

The online overview of the entire process means that almost all information is available instantly but invariably some other issues will arise that can’t be dealt with through this interface. For this, Barclays provides free phone number and an enquiry form, to which it promises to reply to within three hours of the working day.

Our guide to the best invoice factoring companies in the UK should help paint a picture with regards to what else is available.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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