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EOS Survey 'European Payment Practices' 2014

German and French customers lead the field 

The most reliable customers come from Germany, where 83 per cent pay their invoices on time, and France, with 80 per cent of customers. This puts them clearly above the European average of 75 per cent. This was one of the findings of the EOS Survey 2014 ‘European Payment Practices’ for which market research institute TNS Infratest polled 2,600 financial experts in 12 European countries. According to the survey, Bulgarian and Romanian customers (70% in each case) are comparatively unpunctual.

At 34 per cent, the reason most cited for poor payment practices is a temporary cash flow problem, followed by unemployment (22%), intentional non-payment (21%) and the economic situation (20%). But respondents also specified another reason (22%) for late payment that has nothing to do with the customer’s ability to pay: They believe that many consumers in the B2C segment simply forget to pay their bills.

When decision-makers from the receivables management sector think of future challenges, there are differences in perspective between Eastern and Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, the economic situation is the dominant theme, while Western European companies see some potential to improve their own dunning processes.

The most optimistic business people come from Poland, where around 60 per cent of respondents rate their own growth potential in the next five years as very high or high, closely followed by Spanish (56%) and Greek (51%) financial experts. 

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