This is the fourth edition of Coface’s survey on corporate payment experience in Germany, conducted in July and early-August 2020, with 753 participating companies located in Germany. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 and its effects on the global and German economy is the predominant topic of this survey. One major finding is that German companies are getting worried. This year, only 62% of participants offered payment terms, which is significantly less than the 81% in 2019 (2017: 83%, 2016: 84%). It is difficult to clearly assess if the lack of payment terms is exclusively the result of COVID-19, or if this is part of a general “new normality”. This can only be clarified by the data of the following years. Nevertheless, this year, more customers pointed to the tight liquidity of the market or explicitly named COVID-19 and its effects as the main reasons for offering payment terms. The preference for shorter payment terms increased. Half of the surveyed companies requested payments to be made between 0 and 30 days.
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