Supply chain finance organisations have been embarking on international expansion, highlighting the global opportunities available in the market. Standard Chartered recently announced a new vendor pay programme in Africa while Ireland’s Aztec Exchange has announced expansion plans into Spain and Latin America.

Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd (GGBL) is the first client to go live on Standard Chartered’s Vendor PrePay platform. Designed to facilitate access to more affordable financing as well as prompt settlement of invoices, the aim is that Ghanaian business will have improved cashflow.

Richard Laryea, GGBL’s head of procurement for Ghana, Cameroon, west and central Africa (WACA) and Angola said, “Standard Chartered’s Vendor PrePay provides seamless support in managing an effective supplier base, and enabling settlement of invoices on a fully-automated basis. It’s a win-win for all partners, with GGBL now enjoying a wider mix of local small and medium suppliers from which we can source raw materials, in addition to supporting our commitment to empower and support the growth of small scale businesses in Ghana.”

Supporting SME growth is vital to the stability of economies such as that in Ghana, where micro- and SMEs comprise 92% of all registered companies and generate 70% of GDP.

Aztec Exchange’s new venture, ePayMe, is now available in Spain and Latin America, territories where affordable financing isn’t the only problem facing SMEs: late payment is a pressing issue particularly in Spain where average days payable outstanding is at 52 days and 42% of the total value of receivables is paid late. A similar story is found in Latin America where 38% of all B2B invoices are paid late, with Mexico in particular having the highest rate of invoices being paid 90 days past the due date.

Aztec Exchange’s COO Oliver Gabbay said, “Typically, they’ll [SMEs] have a mixed book of debts — some good payers, some will be those companies that struggle to pay and some are companies that have good credit quality but are slow to pay because they ultimately have negotiating power to effectively extend their own cash flows and increase working capital.”