Invoice Financing vs Factoring for Your Small Business

Invoice Financing vs Factoring for Your Small Business

The need for increased cash flow to meet the supply and demand for service and products is nothing new for small businesses.

Many turn to lending options like invoice financing and factoring, which provide quick access to cash, but at what cost? These services often charge high fees and have inflexible accounting structures.

For your understanding, let’s discuss more information on invoice financing and factoring, learning about the implications of these services and their disadvantages. We’ll also go over what alternative options are available for your business.   

Defining traditional invoice financing

Invoice financing, also known as accounts receivable financing or invoice discounting, involves a lender advancing a portion of a business's unpaid invoices. The upfront payment percentage can vary, typically ranging from 60% to 90% of the invoice amount.

Once the business's customer settles the invoice, the business must repay the loan along with any applicable fees. Sometimes, the customer pays the lender directly, who then forwards the remaining balance to the business after deducting the fee.

To illustrate, imagine your customer owes you $100,000 with a one-month payment term. In this scenario, the lender might advance 70% of the invoice and charge a monthly fee, say 5%.

Now, suppose the customer delays payment by two months. You would owe the lender 10% (in this case, $14,000), resulting in a total repayment of $84,000 to the lender.

While invoice financing can provide quick access to funds, some lenders may impose high fees. Therefore, it's crucial to work with a reputable lender. Nevertheless, many businesses opt to avoid the risk altogether.

Defining traditional invoice factoring

Invoice factoring is a financial arrangement where businesses expedite cash flow by selling their outstanding invoices to a factoring or lending company. Although it's often viewed unfavorably due to associated risks, it can be a lifeline for businesses needing to meet financial obligations or expand operations.

However, there are notable drawbacks to consider. Factoring companies selectively purchase invoices based on predefined criteria, potentially leaving some invoices unpaid. Moreover, this places the factoring company in control of customer relationships, introducing a risk factor for your partnerships.

Another concern is the fee structure. Some factoring agreements impose significant fees and inflexible contractual terms, obliging you to cover unpaid invoices if customers fail to pay. In such cases, the cost may outweigh the benefits, resulting in financial loss rather than gain.

The difference between financing and factoring

There are a few main differences between invoice financing and invoice factoring. 

One difference involves logistics. Invoice financing typically involves obtaining a loan or line of credit based on the total invoice value, while invoice factoring entails selling unpaid invoices to a factoring company for an upfront advance.

Another difference involves the collection process. In invoice financing, the customer pays the invoice directly to the business, whereas in invoice factoring, the customer pays the factoring company.

The drawbacks of traditional invoice financing and factoring

Despite their intentions to expedite cash flow, traditional invoice financing and factoring come with notable drawbacks.

There are three main drawbacks–cost, fee dependencies, and risk exposure. 

Both financing and factoring typically incur fees upwards of 5%, adding to the financial burden for businesses. The fees charged are often tied to the time it takes for customers to settle their invoices. Late payments or missed payments can result in additional fees, exacerbating the cost. Lastly, the risk exposure; Some lenders or factoring companies may require full repayment if customers fail to pay, exposing businesses to potential losses.

A better solution: alternative financing with Silo

Silo Technologies stands at the forefront of industry innovation, offering cutting-edge alternatives and superior financing solutions tailored specifically for small and medium-sized businesses navigating complex supply chains.

Differentiating Silo from Traditional Invoice Financing and Factoring

Purpose-Built Solutions: Silo Capital’s solutions are purpose-built to support complex supply chains. Unlike traditional invoice financing and factoring, Silo’s solutions are meticulously crafted to address the unique needs of businesses operating within intricate supply chains. Our approach prioritizes flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and remains hands off of customers, respecting and prioritizing hard earned relationships. 

Streamlined Process: While traditional banking often entails cumbersome documentation, rigid underwriting criteria, and sluggish approvals, Silo streamlines the process, leveraging deep industry expertise to provide swift, tailored financing solutions. We understand the intricacies and challenges of supply chain businesses like no other, offering a level of understanding and support unmatched by traditional lenders.

Speed, Flexibility, Partnership: Speed, flexibility, and partnership are the cornerstones of Silo’s cash flow solutions and approach. Our financing solutions stimulate cash flow and drive growth without burdening businesses with post-funding concerns. With personalized service and transparent financing options, Silo empowers businesses to take control of their financial destiny and seize opportunities with confidence.

Silo Instant Pay, is an alternative to traditional invoice financing. With less risk and better rates, businesses are able to secure up to 90% of their invoices, unlock liquidity instantly to fuel expansion and seize growth opportunities with agility.

Our commitment to empowering businesses with cash flow solutions and strategies ensures that financial planning becomes a catalyst for success, enabling businesses to achieve their profit and revenue objectives with clarity and certainty.

Make an investment in your business and experience the difference in innovative financing by choosing Silo today. Book a demo today!

Want to book a demo with us?

Add your info and we’ll get one scheduled with you.

Nice to meet you!

By submitting this info, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.



A member of the Silo team will be in touch soon.