Credit insurer Coface: Payment behavior has continued to improve


Whether with cash, by card or by bank transfer: Germans are paying their bills more and more punctually.
Image: dpa

Some customers want to pay before the invoice is issued in order to avoid negative bank interest rates.

Dhe payment behavior of customers of German companies continued to improve in 2021, according to a survey. In a survey by credit insurer Coface published on Tuesday, 59 percent of participants said they had been affected by late payments in the past twelve months. That was eleven percentage points less than twelve months earlier. In the previous year, the proportion of companies that experienced payment delays surprisingly fell from 85 percent in 2019 to 68 percent, despite the severe economic slump.

With the exception of the transport and metal industries, the number of bills paid late has declined in all sectors, summarized Coface. On average, the delay in payment was just under 28 days, last year it was 36 days. In individual cases, customers even asked to be able to pay before the invoice was issued in order to avoid negative bank interest rates, said Coface economist Christiane von Berg. Many banks and savings banks now demand interest from corporate and private customers if they have particularly large amounts in their accounts. Because the financial institutions themselves have to pay interest when they park excess liquidity with the European Central Bank (ECB).

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