CASH MANAGEMENT | Staff Reporter, Thailand

Eight in 10 SMEs in ASEAN rely on technology for cash flow woes

Technology is the top investment priority by most of the respondents.

Eight in 10 (81%) small businesses in ASEAN consider digital solutions as their preferred cash flow management method, according to a study by UOB, Accenture and analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet.

Technology was ranked as the top investment priority by 64% of respondents. Across the region, Thailand (71%) had the highest proportion of small businesses prioritising technology, followed by Indonesia (65%), Vietnam (63%), Singapore (60%) and Malaysia (59%).

Although an overwhelming 88% of respondents have lowered their revenue expectations this year, almost half of them (44%) are still mulling about increasing their overall budget for technology. In terms of sectors, F&B, information and communications technology and healthcare (all 50%) displayed the strongest desire to improve their tech investments, followed by the construction (48%) and retail trade (46%) sectors.

Beyond technology, small businesses are looking to invest in upskilling their employees (51%) and in machinery or equipment (40%) whilst purchasing motor vehicles was their lowest priority (18%).

Businesses are trying to ease cash flow pressures by seeking deferment on their loan repayments (75%), renegotiating the terms of their contracts with suppliers and landlords (75%), and applying for COVID-19-related financing schemes (73%).

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