Starting last year's World Factoring Yearbook, General Secretary of Factors Chain International – Jeroen Kohnstamm described the need to focus on small and medium-sized enterprises as the newest global factoring trend, since they are believed to be the most important goal for trade finance service providers.

The answer to this challenge is to build platforms enabling easy and transparent access to trade finance tools. The Comarch Internet Factoring online platform is a fully web-based tool that allows for opening a new channel of cooperation between the factor and its customers. Using a web-based platform for supporting a factoring transaction process brings mutual benefits to both factors and their customers. On the one hand, the customer is actively involved in the process of debt management, thanks to the possibility to monitor and influence the course of factoring transactions, on the other hand, the factor cuts the costs arising from the involvement of employees in the service process. Comarch tool supports all existing products on the factoring market (e.g. full factoring, recourse factoring, invoice discounting, reverse factoring, supply chain finance, etc.).

As we have already said, according to Jeroen Kohnstamm, the future of factoring is the opening for small and medium-sized enterprises. This mainly involves changes in the way of communication between the factor and the customer. One way to achieve that is to build a web-based platform. With Comarch Internet Factoring customers can enter data and track the online status of their debt portfolio (e.g. the available limit). Moreover, they can forecast costs of invoice processing, access to key performance indicators, or suggest a payment settlement scheme. In addition, the factor is equipped with an extensive system of short text message alerts and notifications.

Space For Innovation
Innovation is one of the key words appearing in the descriptions of all IT solutions on the market. Looking at the current market trends, it is easy to notice that the main innovation used by factors is an individual approach to each customer, which associates with the personalization of factoring products. However, in case of small and medium-sized companies factors should look for solutions that will reduce costs that are often discouraging for potential customers. Wojciech Superson, Director of Customer Service at Coface Poland Factoring Sp. z o o, underlines that ‘full customization of the product is mainly used by Coface in cooperation with large customers. In the case of small and medium-sized companies products must be easily accessible and contain all necessary options in the standard version’.

Flexibility – Key To Success
A modular structure of Comarch Internet Factoring allows for choosing the platform elements and graphical layout according to factor’s expectations. Owing to agile project methodologies, the factor participates in the process of the solution design and can enter modifications depending on market dynamics. An iterative way of working in agile methodologies allows for launching Comarch Internet Factoring stage-by-stage, making the key system elements available and productive in a very short time. ‘Selecting Comarch Internet Factoring was preceded by a range of meetings during which we defined elements the most useful and necessary for proper communication with customers. Thanks to such an approach, we have built our own solution accounting for the needs of our customers – a solution that will enable better cooperation with large customers as well as small and medium-sized enterprises’ – emphasizes Superson. The validity of the middle-office concept based on Comarch Internet Factoring is confirmed by numerous awards for the solution itself and for factors who have implemented it.

Mobile Access Is The Future
Saying that mobile devices are nothing but expensive gadgets does not have any justification now. Development of mobile solutions related to factoring is taking place on two levels. In case of small and medium-sized companies, there are new tools allowing to make independent decisions thanks to the access to relevant information. Whereas a decision-making support for factoring large customers is provided by applications offering mobile access to critical data for account managers in the field.

Author: Stanislaw Drosio – Business Solution Manager, Comarch SA.