Unpaid B2B Invoices Up by 23% in the UK

A recent study by Sidetrade, a B2B artificial intelligence platform, has found that since 11th March 2020, the UK has seen a 23% increase in unpaid B2B invoices.

Sidetrade has launched the very first unpaid invoice tracker to provide objective insights into unpaid B2B invoices. The tracker is based on statistical analysis of 26 million invoices which represents €54bn of B2B transactions and tracks the payment behaviour of 3.7 million businesses in six European countries, on a weekly basis.

Unsurprisingly, the data has shown that unpaid invoices have increased since lockdown measures were put in place, in all six of the countries which include the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. The increase of late payments correlates with the development of the pandemic in each country so, the new data could provide insight for UK businesses about what is to come.

The other five countries have seen the following increases since 11th March 2020:

  • Netherlands – +26%
  • Belgium – +44%
  • Spain – +52%
  • France – +56%
  • Italy – +80%


If you are one of the businesses who has been impacted by an increase in unpaid invoices, we’ve put together some helpful tips on how you can ensure payment from your customer.

Don’t be shy, chase your overdue invoices

It’s not rude to chase unpaid invoices, it’s part of the process of running a business. If you’ve done the work and there are no disputes, you’re entitled to be paid on time.

Chasing payment won’t ruin the relationship with your customer, as long as you don’t go in all guns blazing.

Open Communication

By chasing your customer or getting in touch with them prior to the payment date and ‘checking in’, you could find a legitimate reason for them not paying on time. Unfortunately, due to the current situation, it’s inevitable that there will be businesses who will struggle to pay their invoices, due to a drop in workload. This leads us nicely onto our next tip.

Arrange a payment plan

For businesses you work with that you know are honestly struggling during the current climate, you could offer a short payment plan. Obviously, you won’t get the payment in full straightaway but it is a great way to guarantee the outstanding amount is paid in full by a certain date.

The struggling business will appreciate the leeway which means they are highly likely to stick to the payment plan, resulting in you receiving payment in full. This solution will only strengthen your relationship moving forward because ultimately, you have helped them during a difficult time.

Instruct a debt recovery specialist

If you have exhausted your in-house collections process or you just don’t have the time to chase your overdue invoices, it may be time to consider instructing a debt recovery specialist. You’ll find that most reputable specialists like My Debt Recovery, offer a no collection no fee service so you don’t pay unless they are successful at getting your money back! Debt recovery specialists are highly skilled in negotiation and settlement and use some of the most advanced techniques to recover monies owed to you.


If you are struggling with late payments, we can help. Contact our specialist team on 0800 009 6106 or hello@mydebtrecovery.co.uk for FREE advice about your debts and the likelihood of recovery.

Get In touch

0800 009 6106