European Payment Report 2018

The European Payment Report describes the impact late payment has on the development and growth among European enterprises. Based on the results from the report we gain a better understanding of how European enterprises view payment behavior in their country.

About the Report

The European Payment Report is based on a annual survey conducted simultaneously in 29 European countries between February and March. In this report we have gathered data from thousands of companies across Europe to gain insight into the payment behavior and financial health of European businesses.

The report in brief:

  • GDPR unknown to more than 1 out of 4 European businesses
    27 percent of all businesses in Europe state that they have not heard of GDPR, according to the annual European Payment Report 2018 (EPR) by Intrum, where more than 9 600 European companies are surveyed on financial forecast and payment behavior.
  • Prospering economy shrinks bad debt losses. 
    As a strong sign of a stable economic development in the majority of Europe, businesses are reporting decreasing bad debt losses. On average, 1.7 percent of the yearly revenue had to be written off due to non-payments in the past 12 months; a decrease compared to the 2.14 percent reported by European companies in 2017 and even further below the 2.44 percent that was seen in 2016.
  • Europe's SME's still under pressure
    6 out of 10 of the surveyed companies say that that have been asked to accept longer payment terms than they are able to manage in their daily operations and more than half (56 percent) also admit to have accepted these demands. The imbalance between large corporations and small businesses is still present, even if the share of respondents that agree to this statement decreased somewhat compared to last year. 
Clients still pay late, but businesses all over Europe seem to have become slightly more positive when it comes to their ability to handle the consequences of late payments. That said, 28 percent of the surveyed respondents experience hindering growth due to late or non-payments and 21 percent say that they are unable to hire new staff because their clients won’t pay them on time. This shows that we all need to continue to work for prompter payments as it shrinks small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) vulnerability. Payment within 30 days should, and will, eventually be the norm of businesses all over Europe
Mikael Ericson, CEO & President Intrum Justitia AB (publ)

Late Payment Directive
For several years, the European Payment Report has examined the impact of the EU Late Payment Directive and how well it is implemented in the European markets. The challenge that the EU Commission and local regulators face in implementing this important directive is evident. Even now, five years after it was supposed to be fully implemented in all EU countries, only 28 percent of the companies surveyed are aware of its existence and, out of those, a mere 19 percent actually see a positive impact from it. This is of course unfortunate as the directive and its local interpretations have been developed to protect businesses, primarily SMEs, and evade clear misconduct in the business community.

Learn more about the EU Directive

To protect European businesses, particularly SME's, against late payment, the EU adopted Directive 2011/7/EU. 


Please fill in your contact details to get a link to download a pdf version of the European Payment Report 2018.

Download the report