Optimum Finance Review 2019

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By Rob Binns | Senior Writer

It’s one of the UK’s fastest growing invoice finance providers but can Optimum Finance fuel the growth of your business?


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Pros:

  • Online portal lets you monitor your sales ledger and account in real time, 24/7
  • All solutions are completely bespoke
  • Support comes from a UK-based team with a wealth of industry experience

X Cons:

  • Exact pricing and fee structure is unclear
  • Upfront payment of 85% of your invoice’s value is less than other providers offer
In a nutshell: The dictionary defines optimum as ‘the most favourable situation or level for growth or success’ – and that sums up Optimum Finance pretty nicely. With a tailored approach and a range of quick, no-nonsense invoice finance options, Optimum Finance is sharply attuned to the needs of small UK businesses.

Optimum Finance (also known as Optimum SME Finance Limited) is a UK-based company providing invoice factoring and discounting services. It provides fast, effective, and reliable invoice finance solutions to help SMEs improve cash flow and kickstart growth.

Catering mainly to small and medium-sized businesses, Optimum can help you bridge those frustrating gaps between payments, and get a quick cash injection when you need it. Providing a friendly, tailored service, Optimum’s invoice finance solutions are as individual and unique as your business is. 

But is it the right fit for you? What services does Optimum offer, what costs are involved, and how will it benefit your business? Let’s take a look.

Quick facts:

  • Founded in February 2017
  • Based in Bristol
  • One of the UK’s fastest growing invoice finance firms
  • Achieved £60.9 million in lending in 2018
  • The fourth invoice finance company founded by current CEO Richard Pepler since 1994

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What are Optimum Finance’s services and benefits?

Invoice factoring

Invoice factoring is a simple, quick, and convenient finance option that’s ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. How does it work? Well, Optimum advances you up to 85% of the total value of your outstanding invoices. This is usually paid upfront within 24 hours, providing a quick cash hit.

Optimum then takes care of managing your sales ledger, and chasing up your clients for payment. You sit back, while its experienced credit control team does the legwork. Then, when the invoice is paid, you’ll receive the remaining amount (minus Optimum’s fees). Simple!

CHOCs

This delicious-sounding form of finance stands for ‘Client Handles Own Collections’. Acronyms aside, it’s basically the same as invoice factoring – Optimum will still manage your sales ledger, and your customers will continue to settle your invoices through the company.

However, with Optimum Finance’s CHOCs facility, you’ll be able to chase payments from your customers directly. This allows you to maintain a greater degree of control over your sales ledger, and is ideal if you’re more of a ‘hands-on’ type.

Invoice discounting

Invoice discounting also works in a similar way to factoring. Optimum still provides you with upfront finance for the majority of your ledger’s value – the key difference is that with invoice discounting, you’ll remain in complete control of your own sales ledger

That’s right – you’ll be solely responsible for managing your own credit control and collections, and following up with clients about outstanding debts. What this also means is that your customers won’t know you’re using Optimum’s services. This can be a big benefit, especially if your use of a credit facility might be a sensitive issue for certain clients.

Debtor protection

Bad debt is… well, bad. Having a business that owes you money suddenly become insolvent (or unable to pay for a protracted period) is a real possibility. And it goes without saying that the consequences of this for your cash flow can be crippling. 

That’s where Optimum Finance’s optional debtor protection comes in. For a little extra cash, Optimum will safeguard your cash flow from the deadly risks of bad debt. The company effectively takes full responsibility for your sales ledger, along with all the risks that come with it.

Optimum Finance’s debtor protection can be added to any of the facilities above.

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How much does Optimum Finance cost?

Optimum Finance offers completely bespoke invoice finance solutions that are always tailored to your business. So, it stands to reason that the amount you can expect to pay will depend on the specific needs of your business. What you’ll be charged also depends on your business’ turnover, as well as the amount of finance you’re seeking.

The costs involved with invoice finance generally fall into two camps:  

  • Service fees: The service fee is a charge for using the invoice factoring facility. It’s usually calculated as a percentage of your overall turnover.
  • Discounting fees: The discounting fee is the cost of the actual loan, and is usually a percentage of the invoice you’re receiving finance for.

Like most invoice finance providers, Optimum doesn’t publish its exact fees anywhere publicly. To get a quote, you’ll have to enquire directly and speak to an advisor. They’ll have a chat with you, and help your business come up with a plan (and a price) that works.

Alternatively, you can compare prices from multiple invoice finance suppliers by taking advantage of our quick, free quote-finding form. Simply enter a few details about your business and industry, and you’ll receive invoice finance quotes from leading UK suppliers.


Is Optimum Finance right for my business?

“I’m a small business struggling with cash flow.”

Optimum Finance is perfect for you. The speed and convenience of invoice factoring is ideal for SMEs looking to cut the distance until their next payday. Plus, since all credit you’ll receive is leveraged against money that’s already owed to you, factoring is less risky than a business loan or an overdraft.

“I’d like to try invoice finance, but don’t want anyone to know I’m using a third party company.”

Fair enough! In this case, Optimum’s invoice discounting facility sounds like the right fit. You’ll remain in complete control of your sales ledger, while Optimum’s involvement remains anonymous to your clients. 

“I’m owed a lot in unpaid invoices and would like some help chasing up payments.”

A straightforward invoice factoring deal sounds like the best way forward for your business. Not only will you receive the lion’s share of all your cash currently tied up in unpaid invoices, but Optimum will take care of chasing up that payment for you. It’s a win-win.


Expert verdict

Optimum Finance may only be in its third year of trading, but it’s already become synonymous with providing value for small businesses. It’s growing fast, and last year dished out over £60 million in funding for UK SMEs. This year, could your business be one of them?

Almost certainly. Invoice finance remains one of the most affordable, secure, and flexible (yet frequently overlooked) forms of finance in the UK. Optimum is doing it well, and also understands the unique needs of – and challenges faced by – UK businesses.

To get started, contact Optimum Finance directly to speak to an advisor. Alternatively, why not let us help you compare tailored quotes from a range of invoice finance providers? Pop some details into our short quote-finding webform, and you’ll receive quotes from several top UK invoice finance suppliers.


What other invoice finance services should I consider?

If you’ve read this far and don’t feel Optimum Finance is for you, that’s okay – there are plenty of other providers out there offering similar services. Take a look at the table below and see what you think.

Invoice finance providerOur ratingLearn more
Aldermore Invoice FinanceAldermore Invoice Finance review
Bibby Financial ServicesBibby Financial Services review
Hitachi Capital Invoice FinanceHitachi Capital Invoice Finance review
Lloyds Invoice FactoringLloyds Invoice Factoring review
RBS Invoice FinanceRBS Invoice Finance review
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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