Visa has announced its first-ever 2023-2024 Growth Corporates Working Capital Index (WCI). The research surveyed Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and treasurers of growth corporates, organizations that have unique needs and capabilities but often fall through the cracks between small businesses and enterprises with their purpose-built solutions.
What were the findings of Visa’s research?
The research findings revealed these firms face challenges securing working capital solutions that fit the unique operational and financial needs of their business. Nearly half of surveyed growth corporates plan to use more working capital in the year ahead for strategic growth initiatives, yet 18% sub-optimize use of working capital, either due to a lack of access or a misalignment of the working capital solutions to their sector-specific requirements.
The Working Capital Index highlights that nearly a third (32%) of surveyed growth corporates used external working capital solutions for strategic growth purposes to fund business expansion, purchase their inventory, upgrade legacy systems, and other growth initiatives.
Top performers used external working capital for strategic purposes 34% more than bottom performers this past year. These top performing growth corporates demonstrated efficiencies in improved Days Payable Outstanding (DPO), while also improving the financial stability of suppliers receiving the payments and the downstream financial ecosystem they touch.
Additional findings in the WCI
- On a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 representing the perfect ratio of operational efficiency with the use of working capital solutions, the average score for respondents was 49, indicative of the broader misalignment of sector needs with available working capital options and access to them. Top performers achieved an average WCI score of 70, three times that of bottom performers saving, on average, $3.3M annually in interest and late fees, internal processing costs, and supplier discounts for early payment.
- Twice as many CFOs and treasurers used working capital solutions to fund strategic growth than used to fill unplanned cash flow gaps in the last 12 months.
- The 8% of respondents who wanted to use working capital solutions but were denied access were primarily concentrated in the CEMEA and APAC regions, and attributed approval-related barriers, including eligibility criteria and lengthy application processes as the reasons for their non-use.
- Surveyed growth corporates are shrugging off predictions of a global recession and expect easing credit conditions and improving business conditions in 2024. As such, 92% of growth corporate CFOs plan to use working capital solutions in the next 12 months, representing a 30% increase in working capital solution utilization.
- More than two-thirds of growth corporates respondents view virtual cards as a versatile working capital option and their use is expected to triple in 2024.
What are Visa’s thoughts on the findings?
“Visa is pleased to introduce the 2023-24 Growth Corporates Working Capital Index, which takes a closer look at the middle-market business community and how they are approaching working capital challenges,” said Darren Parslow, Global Head, Visa Commercial Solutions.
“This report provides practical insights into how CFOs and treasurers balance the day-to-day requirements of their businesses with the cash flow requirements needed to survive, thrive and scale. It reveals how top performing growth corporates are leading the way, embracing a broader range of external working capital solutions in order to fulfill strategic objectives.”
“Visa is focused on uplifting growth corporates – middle market businesses today that hold tremendous potential to become tomorrow’s giants,” said Alan Koenigsberg, SVP, Global Head of Large/Middle Market, Treasury and Industry Verticals, Visa Commercial Solutions.
“Visa’s goal with the 2023-2024 Growth Corporates Working Capital Index was to gain a better understanding of the impact of working capital solutions on the operational efficiency of these businesses. This report is an important benchmark for measuring the health of this vibrant business sector and the ability to align working capital solutions with the needs and expectations of the CFOs and treasurers who rely on them to grow their businesses.”
For more information about the WCI, please visit the website.