Invoice protection with Flow

Invoice protection with Flow

Chasing overdue invoices is a real problem that all companies face on a daily basis. 

 

  • 54% of UK small to medium sized businesses experienced the pain of chasing overdue invoices in 2018
  • 52% of UK small to medium sized business owners spend 10% of their working day chasing overdue invoices
  • 25% of UK small to medium sized businesses rely on bank overdrafts to make essential payments

 

If you are based in the UK and have upgraded to Flow Pro, you will have the capability to avoid this headache by insuring your invoices. 

We have made your life as easy as possible by giving your customers a Credit Score. The lower the score, the higher the risk that customer presents.

With just one click of a button, we'll show you just how easy it is to protect your invoice with a real-time instant quote.

 

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Getting set up

Adding these features to your Flow account is easy, you’ll just need to locate the post in your Actionfeed - you can see that post in the image below.

Hit ‘Confirm now’ and follow the simple steps, your Flow account will automatically update when you’re done!

 

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How does it work?

As a Flow Pro, you will have access to Flow In.

Flow In contains valuable insights into your customer behaviour, including an interactive index of raised invoices awaiting payment.

Alongside invoice details such as the total amount due, the date it was raised and when payment is due, you will also find a Credit Score for the respective customer.

 

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Any invoice that is accompanied with a green shield indicates that you have the power to insure and guarantee payment.

Simply click that shield, you’ll then see a breakdown of your protection.

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Clicking 'Protect this invoice now' will direct you to our insurance provider Hokodo.

Once you’ve navigated into Hokodo, it is then a simple process to protect your invoice and give you the peace of mind - you will no longer need to spend your precious time chasing or worrying about this payment.

You’ll see your shield completed with a tick for invoices that have been protected.

 

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FAQs: Data Usage

Who do Futrli share data with?
Your data will be shared only with Hokodo. Their privacy policy can be found here.

What data is shared?
To access Hokodo functionality, you will need to verify yourself. At this point you will be sending your company name only.
 
To see the credit score of a customer you will need to verify their identity and again, this involves sending their name only.

To get a quote on insuring an invoice you will be sharing some basic information stored for that invoice:
  • Customer name
  • Invoice value
  • VAT amount
  • Date of issue
  • Due date
  • Currency
Breakdowns of what the invoice is for or any descriptions are not shared.

 

FAQs: Invoice Protection  

What is Invoice Protection?
Invoice Protection is an insurance against the risk of non-payment of your B2B invoice. It guarantees that you will always get paid on a valid invoice, whether or not your customer pays you.

What sort of businesses buy Invoice Protection?
Non-payment of an invoice can happen in any type of B2B business. If a large part of your business is done with the same customer, or if some of your customers are new or not creditworthy, buying Invoice Protection will safeguard your company in case this customer fails to pay or defaults.

How does Invoice Protection work?
Our insurance partner Hokodo offers you Invoice Protection against the risk of non-payment. You’re guaranteed to receive at least 90% of the value of your B2B invoice, so long as it is valid.

In the case of non-payment, you can start your claim starting 45 days after the due date. Our partner Hokodo will take care of the whole collections or indemnification process and ensure that you get paid within 15 days*.

How can I buy Invoice Protection?
You can buy Invoice Protection from within Flow In (upgrading to Flow Pro is required) by selecting the invoices you’d like to insure. But don’t leave it too long: Hokodo are not able to insure invoices that are too close to the payment due date.

What does it cover?
You will be protected against:

  • The non-payment of a valid invoice, either because your customer won’t pay or the customer has become insolvent.

You will not be protected against:

  • Non-payment of a disputed invoice: you will need to settle the dispute with your customer before Hokodo will consider a claim.
  • Damage or loss of goods in transit.
  • Activity by a government which prevents your invoice being paid such as war, requisition of property, currency controls, etc.
  • Claims which are the result of fraud or dishonesty by your company.
  • Claims which would require Hokodo to breach sanctions or anti-money laundering regulations.

How much does it cost?
The insurance cost depends on your customer’s risk profile. It will typically range between 0.5% and 2% of the invoice value.

Is this FCA approved?
Invoice Protection is provided by Hokodo Services Ltd, which is an appointed representative of Innovative Risk Ltd. Innovative Risk Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with FCA registration number: 609155.

Who underwrites the insurance policy?
Invoice Protection is arranged by our partner, Hokodo Services Ltd, which is a coverholder at Lloyd’s of London. The policies are underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s is the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market.

Who can I contact for additional information?
If you have any additional questions or require further clarification, do not hesitate to contact Hokodo directly:

Why do I need to use Companies House business names?
We need this information so that we can provide you with the right credit score data, and so Hokodo can insure you correctly (rather than a company with a similar name), and so your invoice is insured against the correct company.

Which customer’s invoices are eligible for Invoice Protection?
Any B2B invoice is eligible for Invoice Protection, as long as it is valid, not too close to the due date, and has been issued within 30 days of the supply of the goods and/or services. It also needs to be supported by evidence that the customer has confirmed purchase, such as purchase order, email confirmation or binding contract:

  • If you have only received verbal confirmation of the order, then you can still purchase protection. However, Hokodo will be unable to pay a claim for your invoice if your customer disputes having placed the order.
  • You must confirm that – to the best of your knowledge – the customer is not insolvent or unable to pay the invoice at the time you purchase protection, and that the customer does not have any other outstanding invoices with you which are over 45 days overdue. Hokodo does not expect you to undertake any additional investigation of your customer's solvency; but if in your regular course of business you discover that your customer is likely to be unable to pay your invoice then you will not be able to subsequently purchase Invoice Protection.

How do I start the claims process?
You must:

  • Take reasonable steps to minimise bad debt. This includes not extending the payment terms beyond the original invoice, and not accepting payment plans from your customers. 
  • When the invoice is at least 45 days overdue, you must submit it to Hokodo’s debt collections partner, who will attempt collections on your behalf.
  • The debt collections partner will pay any funds collected over to you, less a success fee of 6% (+VAT) of the funds collected (the fee may be charged to your customer instead if you wish).
  • If they are unable to collect your invoice in full, you may submit a claim to Hokodo.
  • You must comply with Hokodo’s reasonable requests including assigning your unpaid invoices to another party (subrogating the debt) as part of Hokodo’s claims settlement process.

How long will it take to get paid?
Once you have notified Hokodo about the non-payment of your invoice, if the collections partner, STA International, manages to collect your money, you will receive the amount collected within 14 days of them receiving it. If the collections process fails (which can take from 15 to 60 days), Hokodo will pay you the amount covered (90% of the invoice value) promptly upon receipt of a valid claim form*.

What happens to the VAT on my invoice?
Hokodo covers 90% of your invoice, excluding the VAT. If your invoice included VAT on top of the net amount you’re owed, you’re usually able to claim VAT Bad Debt Relief from HMRC. Your accountant will be able to advise you on how to do this.

How does the collections process work?
The collections partner, STA International, has deep industry expertise when it comes to collecting trade debt and they will manage the process of getting your debtor to pay. After confirming the debt, they will contact the debtor by various channels including telephone, email and post.

  • If the collections process succeeds, they will pay you the collected value, less a success fee of 6% (+VAT) of recovered funds. If you allow them to also recover the success fee from your customer - as the law generally permits - and they are successful in doing so then there will be no deduction.
  • If the collections partner can’t collect the debt within 60 days, then Hokodo will pay you the protected amount (90% of the invoice value) promptly upon receipt of a valid claim form*. 

What disqualifies you from making a claim?
You will not be protected against:

  • Non-payment of a disputed invoice: you will need to settle the dispute with your customer before Hokodo will consider a claim. The collections partner, STA International, will be on hand to manage the dispute process and help you get it sorted. Hokodo will hold your cover open for 6 months while you solve the dispute and establish the validity of the debt.
  • Fake or fraudulent invoices.
  • Damage or loss of goods in transit.
  • Activity by a government which prevents your invoice being paid such as war, requisition of property, currency controls, etc.
  • Claims which are the result of fraud or dishonesty by your company.
  • Claims which would require Hokodo to breach sanctions or anti-money laundering regulations.

 

FAQs: Credit Scores 

What is a Credit Score?
The Credit Score found in Flow In (upgrading to Flow Pro is required) assesses the level of financial health of a given company with a number (1 to 3 stars). 3 stars are granted to companies in good financial health and 1 star for companies facing substantial default risks.

What do the Credit Score company ratings mean?
Each company is rated by Credit Score on a scale from 1 to 3 stars:

1 star = Danger
We do not recommend extending credit terms to this company unless you are really confident that you will get paid.

1.5 stars = Caution
This firm has a weak credit rating. Manage your exposure to this company carefully.

2 stars = Acceptable
This firm has acceptable financial health, but you should still ensure you can withstand the costs of any default.

2.5 stars = Fair
This firm has reasonable financial health, though invoice protection can provide additional security.

3 stars = Excellent
This firm has strong financial health.

Where does the Credit Score credit information come from?
The Credit Score for a company you will see in Flow In (upgrading to Flow Pro is required) is based on, information Hokodo leverages from, a combination of sources providing information on a company from different angles: financial position, performance, directors, mortgages, business events, etc.

Does the Credit Score tell me how much trade credit I should give my customer?
No. The Credit Score is an estimate of how likely the company is to become insolvent in the next year. When thinking about how much trade credit to offer, the likelihood of insolvency is obviously a factor. However, you should also take account of the size of the company. It is generally not a good idea to offer large amounts of trade credit to relatively small customers. If you have any concerns about your customer’s ability to pay you, or if you need to offer more trade credit than you feel comfortable with, then Invoice Protection can provide a solution.

How accurate is the Credit Score?
The Credit Score is based on publicly available information about a company, such as their Companies House filings, their industry, age and financial profile. The Credit Score is a probabilistic measure: it estimates the likelihood of a company becoming insolvent. But it is only as good as the underlying information upon which the calculations are based. For many companies (particularly smaller ones) the amount of public information can be limited and in some cases quite old. We are continually looking to improve the accuracy of the scores, and to bring in additional sources of information. However, it is important that users appreciate the limitations of scores such as the Credit Score. Although they provide a helpful guide, they should never be used as the sole criterion for making credit decisions.

 

* Hokodo aim to settle the majority of claims within 15 days of receipt of the claim submission. However, a limited number of claims may require further investigation and in these situations Hokodo may take up to 60 days to assess your claim.

 

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Finding out more…

For any questions about this service or if you wish to query the status of an existing protection payment or claim please contact Hokodo directly:

Email: support@hokodo.co
Telephone: 0203 974 1620

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