As a result of the pandemic, the need of companies to strengthen their liquidity and keep cash flows under control grew considerably, making factoring agreat strategic tool for companies, especially SMEs.
The mission of SACE Fct is precisely to respond to the need to support liquidity and strengthen the management of cash flows of Italian companies. Over the years, it has continued to develop its portfolio of products and services for factoring receivables, which is dedicated to export companies and Public Administration suppliers and large Italian industrial groups.
Over the last year, the Company has mobilised resources worth € 5.6 billion to support Italian companies. This is the best performance that SACE Fct has recorded since its founding until today, 18% greater than the record turnover achieved in 2020. In particular, of SACE Fct’s activities, operations in relation to overseas, which are carried out in synergy with SACE and enable companies to anticipate credits claimed from overseas counterparties, recorded a turnover increase of 14% compared with 2020.
These achievements are the result of the broadening of SACE Fct’s product portfolio, but also of its strengthening through a well thought-out digitalisation process. As with many other areas, in fact, factoring has also been subject to a strong thrust in that direction, to more easily reach an increasing number of customers.
In the case of SACE Fct, an important step in the digitalisation journey was the Digital Factoring platform, aimed at simplifying the process for making inquiries. It is important to highlight that it was a pioneering initiative, already launched in 2019.
At the start, Digital Factoring was only accessible by invitation and provided a limited range of products, but the crisis made it clear that this was not enough, pushing SACE Fct to develop the portal, opening it to everyone and enriching it with new factoring products accessible online. Today, in fact, Digital Factoring enables all companies to factor receivables, even of a very small amount – not just joint-stock companies but also partnerships – which are accredited in the system.
Through a simple, standardised procedure, companies can register on the platform: digitalfactoring.sacefct.it, completely independently and without needing any preliminary invitation from SACE Fct, launching the inquiry process, thus accessing, easily and quickly, the services offered by the Company.
In this way, they can access a series of different products, which range from invoice discounting for Italian corporates to foreign credit transactions incorporated into promissory notes, from advancing certified receivables from the Public Administration to tax credits and transactions guaranteed by the Central Guarantee Fund.
From the launch of the Digital Factoring platform until today, more than 500 companies have launched their digital onboarding, factoring receivables worth a total value of approximately € 190 million relating to more than 14,000 invoices processed.
Daniele Schroder, SACE Fct Business Solutions Director, had this to say: “We expect that these numbers will increase, including in light of the strategic nature of factoring in this complex period for companies in liquidity crises. Today, all companies are looking for tools to improve their liquidity and ensure fast payments. The broadening of our offering, its digitalisation and simplification allow us to support all Italian entrepreneurship and to transform even receivables of smaller amounts into liquidity, responding to the needs expressed by companies”.
The Digital Factoring project is part of the wider process for digitalising the offering, which was launched several years ago by SACE Group, standardising the wide range of insurance and loan solutions dedicated to supporting the competitiveness of Italian firms in Italy and overseas and providing these solutions online. It thus represents a further step by the Group, which already offers a vast range of highly integrated and digitalised products, in the wake of the new commercial strategy with the aim of responding to evolving Italian SME needs, by widening the insurance offering and distribution channels.
The digitalisation process of SACE Group includes, in addition, a series of tools for assisting firms, like SACE Education – the training hub that offers free courses on exporting and internationalization, green, digital, and infrastructure strategies and certified academic training in collaboration with universities and training bodies – and the products of the SACE Research Department, which have become genuine compasses for operating with awareness on international markets.
The results obtained up to today prove the efficacy of the strategy that SACE Fct and, more generally, the SACE Group adopted, which places digitalisation at the centre in the conviction that it’s not enough to have the right tool to respond to the needs of companies, but we must make it accessible, intuitive, and quick.