Experian i-DTC: Trade Payments Show Moderate Improvements in 1Q 2021 but Brief Respite at Risk

Experian i-DTC: Trade Payments Show Moderate Improvements in 1Q 2021 but Brief Respite at Risk

Experian Information Services Malaysia released its latest ‘Industry Debts Turned Cash’ (i-DTC) Indicators on payment trends for 1Q 2021.


KUALA LUMPUR, 27 MAY 2021 - Experian Information Services (Malaysia) today announced its 1Q 2021 Industry Debts Turned Cash (i-DTC) which measured payment data from January 2021 to March 2021, during the period of Malaysia’s MCO 2.0.


i-DTC evaluates data from Experian’s Trade Bureau platform based on an average number of days from the date of invoice until payments are made by companies to their creditors. The platform tracks more than 500,000 payment records, cutting across a spectrum of industries, bringing into focus the speed of creditor payments. In this analysis, seven key industries were examined: construction, hospitality and food/beverage, manufacturing, retail, services, transportation and storage, and wholesale.


Businesses in Malaysia continue to be buffeted by the effects of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to flatten the COVID-19 curve but observed to be better positioned to service trade payments as compared to the first MCO implemented in March 2020. Malaysia’s GDP contracted by -0.5 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) in 1Q 2021, a much smaller contraction compared to -3.4 percent recorded in 4Q 2020. This is reflected in the i-DTC data for the first three months of 2021, where the average repayment across all seven sectors took 71 days; a better performance by comparison to the April 2020 to December 2020 period when COVID-19 first hit.



Figure 1: Overall Monthly i-DTC (April 2020 - March 2021)


The improvement in trade payment averaging 71 days for 1Q 2021 may be attributed to the government’s efforts to limit the closure of businesses under MCO 2.0 and to elevated holiday spending during the festive season in the first quarter. Furthermore, more businesses appear to have adopted some level of digitalisation which have put in place processes to better manage the possibility of a returning MCO. This contrasts with MCO 1.0 where the effects of the lockdown adversely affected the economy with trade payments reaching a peak of 88 days in June 2020.


Figure 2: Monthly i-DTC by 7 industries (April 2020 – March 2021)


The impact of MCO 2.0 varies across industries. The Transportation & Storage industry performed the best, with an improvement of 14 days from 77 days in December 2020 to 63 days in March 2021 (Figure 2). This is likely attributed to the standard operating procedure (SOP) under MCO 2.0, where businesses were allowed to resume with limited disruption, in addition to the sector’s growing demand. The parcel delivery segment (last-mile delivery) could be one of the main contributors to the improvement as the e-commerce industry has grown rapidly in the past one year.


According to Dawn Lai, Chief Executive Officer of Experian Information Services (Malaysia), “Our economy remains uncertain and evolving as we enter MCO 3.0 and with tighter restrictions. This translates to businesses still facing uncertain near-term risk of disruptions. Monitoring of cash flow continues to be key in companies being able to ride through the ebb and flow of the uneven economic recovery experienced by Malaysian companies. Our observation is that cash preservation will continue to be the focus for smaller Malaysian enterprises where they have less ability to demand preferential credit terms from their clients.”


The Construction sector has seen broad improvements in its i-DTC performance with an average of 89 days for 1Q 2021, an improvement over the height of the first MCO where the sector was at a virtual standstill and peaked at 104 days in July 2020. Construction activity has gradually resumed but companies had to make additional investments into safety measures to adhere to SOPs around MCOs. Increased optimism in the sector may be realised with planned investments in infrastructure, healthcare, and renewable energy projects. One such injection of investment is the potential implementation of a budgeted RM7.3 billion by the Malaysian government through the Works Ministry (KKR) for public infrastructure construction and maintenance projects in 2021, but this remains at risk of delays due to rising COVID-19 infections in Malaysia.


In the Retail sector, i-DTC repayments have averaged 73 days in the first quarter of 2021, which represents an increase of 11 days quarter-on-quarter (62 days in 4Q 2020). The sector remains highly at risk with the uneven economic recovery and due to changing safety measures which directly impact their ability to trade. MCO 2.0 is reported to have affected 90% of retail organisations as shared by the Bumiputera Retailers Organisation. Consumers have also likely reduced their disposable income spending, given job uncertainties. Malaysians may also have shifted their retail buying behaviour with more consumers turning to e-commerce as a retail purchasing channel. The sector has recorded a two-decade low performance with a contraction of 16.3% in 2020, where foot traffic fell to almost zero as people had to stay at home.


Similarly, the Services sector is also facing intense headwinds as services like tourism, employment agencies, rental & leasing services, advertising, and media have all faced revenue reductions. The i-DTC numbers for the services sector are averaging 87 days for 1Q 2021. However, both February and March 2021 recorded 91 days, respectively - the highest since July 2020 (85 days). Among all the industries, the services sector may require the most attention and effort to recover. Governmental measures could help the sector take on these headwinds and initiatives like ‘PEMERKASA’ will be a vital lifeline to this sector.


While Malaysia has entered MCO 3.0, businesses have also learned and adapted to the new ways of managing their operations. They are now better positioned to deal with the social and economic conditions that MCO 3.0 might bring. While the recent closure of popular malls listed under HIDE (Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement) is necessary, it will present new sets of challenges to businesses and it may affect payment collection days for 2Q 2021. Businesses need to stay resilient and risk mitigation remains one of the key factors in recovering the economy.


“With the uneven and volatile nature of this current economic environment, companies need to lean into adopting more business intelligence tools to manage credit risk on an ongoing and agile basis,” advised Lai. “Areas like performance, delinquencies, affordability and exposure can quickly change with inherent macroeconomic risks. Ongoing monitoring of business partners and access to new analysis from non-traditional data sources may provide better insight into changing behavioural trends and inform effective strategies and responses to better adapt, survive and thrive during these uncertain times.


“In particular, it is critical for SMEs to transform quickly and embrace digital technologies to stay relevant and operate in a movement restricted environment. Continuing to onboard new customers through digital authentication tools such as eKYC ensures that they can grow new businesses remotely and with confidence.”



Experian i-DTC: Peningkatan Sederhana Pembayaran Perdagangan pada Suku Pertama (Q1) 2021, namun Penangguhan Membawa Risiko


Experian Information Services Malaysia mengeluarkan penunjuk i-DTC ‘Hutang Bertukar Tunai untuk Industri’ terbaharu bagi trend pembayaran pada suku pertama (Q1) 2021.


KUALA LUMPUR, 27 MEI 2021 - Experian Information Services (Malaysia) hari ini mengumumkan penunjuk ‘Hutang Bertukar Tunai untuk Industri’ (i-DTC) bagi suku pertama (Q1) 2021 yang mengukur data pembayaran antara Januari 2021 sehingga Mac 2021, ketika tempoh Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) 2.0.


Penilaian data oleh i-DTC dari platform Biro Perdagangan ('Trade Bureau') Experian adalah berdasarkan purata hari yang diambil syarikat-syarikat untuk membayar para pemiutang mereka selepas tarikh invois dikeluarkan. Ia adalah berdasarkan lebih 500,000 rekod pembayaran oleh perniagaan korporat dalam pelbagai industri bagi memaparkan gambaran lebih jelas akan kepantasan syarikat-syarikat dalam membayar pemiutang mereka. Dalam kajian ini, terdapat tujuh industri yang dinilai: pembinaan, hospitaliti dan makanan/minuman, pembuatan, peruncitan, perkhidmatan, pengangkutan dan penyimpanan serta pemborongan. 


Walaupun rata-rata perniagaan di Malaysia terus terkesan oleh impak Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) bagi melandaikan jumlah kes COVID-19, namun trend bayaran balik berada pada kedudukan yang lebih baik bagi pembayaran perkhidmatan perdagangan berbanding dengan fasa PKP pertama yang dilaksanakan pada Mac 2020. Keluaran Dalam Kasar Negara (KDNK) Malaysia menyusut -0.5 peratus bagi tahun-ke-tahun, satu penyusutan yang jauh lebih minima berbanding -3.4 peratus yang direkodkan pada suku keempat (Q4) 2020. Secara keseluruhan, purata i-DTC bagi tiga bulan pertama tahun 2021 untuk ketujuh-tujuh industri mengambil masa 71 hari; prestasi yang lebih baik berbanding dengan tempoh April 2020 sehingga Disember 2020 ketika gelombang pertama COVID-19 melanda. 


Rajah 1: i-DTC Bulanan Keseluruhan (April 2020 - Mac 2021)


Peningkatan dalam pembayaran perdagangan dengan purata 71 hari pada suku pertama (Q1) 2021 mungkin disebabkan oleh usaha kerajaan dalam mengurangkan penutupan perniagaan ketika fasa PKP 2.0 dan penambahan dalam perbelanjaan musim perayaan pada suku pertama. Tambahan, lebih banyak perniagaan telah mendukung proses digitalisasi dengan pengurusan yang lebih baik jika berlakunya PKP lagi. Ini nyata berbeza dengan fasa PKP 1.0 di mana perintah berkurung (lockdown) memberi kesan buruk kepada ekonomi dengan pembayaran perdagangan mencapai puncak 88 hari pada Jun 2020.


Rajah 2:  i-DTC bulanan dalam 7 industri (April 2020 – Mac 2021)


Impak PKP 2.0 berbeza mengikut industri. Industri Pengangkutan dan Penyimpanan menunjukkan prestasi yang baik dengan peningkatan pembayaran 14 hari dari 77 hari pada Disember 2020 kepada 63 hari pada Mac 2021 (Rajah 2). Ini mungkin disumbangkan oleh prosedur operasi standard (SOP) di bawah PKP 2.0 yang membenarkan perniagaan beroperasi dengan gangguan terhad, selain penambahan permintaan pada sektor. Malahan, segmen penghantaran pembungkusan (last-mile delivery) juga merupakan salah satu pendorong utama kepada peningkatan disebabkan industri e-dagang yang berkembang dengan pesat sejak satu tahun yang lalu.


Menurut Dawn Lai, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif, Experian Information Services (Malaysia), “Landskap ekonomi Malaysia kekal tidak menentu dan berubah apabila negara memasuki fasa PKP 3.0 dengan sekatan yang lebih ketat. Ini boleh mengakibatkan sesetengah perniagaan mengalami risiko gangguan jangka pendek yang tidak menentu. Pemantauan aliran tunai kekal menjadi kunci bagi kelangsungan untuk mengharungi tempoh surut dan aliran pemulihan ekonomi yang tidak menentu bagi syarikat di Malaysia. Pemerhatian kami adalah bahawa simpanan wang akan terus menjadi tumpuan bagi perusahaan kecil di Malaysia di mana mereka kurang berkemampuan untuk menuntut syarat kredit pilihan dari pelanggan mereka."


Sektor pembinaan melihat peningkatan yang positif dalam prestasi i-DTC dengan purata bayaran balik 89 hari pada suku pertama (Q1) 2021, peningkatan berbanding fasa PKP pertama di mana sektor ini mengalami kebantutan virtual dan merekodkan pembayaran balik tertinggi 104 hari pada Julai 2020. Aktiviti pembinaan yang kini disambung secara ansuran dengan pelaburan tambahan oleh syarikat bagi mengekalkan SOP ketat dalam tempoh PKP. Peningkatan optimisma sektor ini dapat direalisasikan dengan pelaburan terancang dalam projek infrastruktur, penjagaan kesihatan, dan tenaga boleh diperbaharui. Salah satu bantuan pelaburan tersebut adalah potensi pelaksanaan projek pembinaan infrastruktur dan penyelenggaraan 2021 bernilai RM7.3 bilion oleh Kerajaan Malaysia melalui Kementerian Kerja Raya, namun ianya berisiko untuk mengalami kelewatan kerana peningkatan jangkitan kes COVID-19 di Malaysia.


Di sektor peruncitan, pembayaran balik i-DTC berpurata di 73 hari pada suku pertama (Q1) 2021, ini menunjukkan peningkatan 11 hari suku ke suku (62 hari pada suku keempat (Q4) 2020). Sektor ini kekal berisiko tinggi dengan pemulihan ekonomi yang tidak rata berpunca dari perubahan langkah keselamatan yang secara langsung mempengaruhi kemampuan berdagang. PKP 2.0 dilaporkan menjejaskan 90% organisasi runcit seperti yang dikongsi oleh Organisasi Peruncit Bumiputera. Pengguna juga berkemungkinan mengurangkan perbelanjaan mereka, kerana ketidakpastian pekerjaan. Rakyat Malaysia mungkin juga telah mengubah tingkah laku pembelian runcit mereka dengan lebih banyak pengguna beralih ke portal e-dagang sebagai saluran pembelian runcit. Sektor ini mencatat prestasi rendah dua dekad dengan penyusutan 16.3% pada tahun 2020, di mana lalu lintas pengguna turun hampir kepada sifar kerana kawalan pergerakan.


Sektor perkhidmatan juga menghadapi penyusutan mendadak kerana perkhidmatan seperti pelancongan, agensi pekerjaan, perkhidmatan penyewaan, pengiklanan, dan media menghadapi kemerosotan pendapatan. i-DTC melaporkan bagi sektor perkhidmatan purata pembayaran adalah 87 hari pada suku pertama (Q1) 2021. Walau bagaimanapun, pada Februari dan Mac 2021 pembayaran dicatatkan pada 91 hari - tertinggi sejak Julai 2020 (85 hari). Berbanding industri lain, sektor perkhidmatan mungkin memerlukan perhatian dan usaha yang paling banyak untuk dipulihkan. Langkah-langkah yang diwujudkan oleh kerajaan dapat membantu sektor ini menghadapi cabaran dan inisiatif seperti 'PEMERKASA' akan menjadi bantuan penting bagi sektor ini.


Malaysia kini telah memasuki fasa PKP 3.0, perniagaan juga telah belajar dan menyesuaikan diri dengan norma baru dalam pengurusan operasi mereka. Perniagaan kini berada dalam kedudukan yang lebih baik untuk menangani keadaan sosial dan ekonomi yang mungkin dibawa oleh fasa PKP 3.0. Walaupun penutupan pusat membeli-belah popular yang tersenarai di bawah HIDE (Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement) adalah penting, ia akan memberikan cabaran baru kepada perniagaan dan mungkin mempengaruhi hari pengumpulan pembayaran pada suku kedua (Q2) 2021. Perniagaan perlu bertahan dan pengurangan risiko tetap menjadi faktor utama dalam pemulihan ekonomi.


Dengan keadaan landskap ekonomi semasa yang tidak stabil, syarikat perlu lincah dalam menggunakan pelbagai strategi perniagaan untuk menguruskan risiko kredit secara berterusan,” nasihat Lai. "Perkara seperti prestasi, ketidakhadiran, kemampuan dan pendedahan dapat berubah dengan cepat dengan risiko makroekonomi yang wujud. Pemantauan rakan niaga yang berterusan dan akses kepada maklumat baru dari sumber data bukan tradisional dapat memberikan panduan yang lebih baik mengenai perubahan trend tingkah laku dan menawarkan strategi dan tindak balas yang berkesan untuk menyesuaikan perniagaan, bertahan dan berkembang dengan lebih baik semasa tempoh tidak menentu ini.


“Ianya penting bagi Perusahaan Mikro, Kecil, dan Sederhana (PMKS) untuk berubah seiring dengan masa dan mendukung teknologi untuk kekal relevan dan beroperasi dalam persekitaran pergerakan terbatas. Kekal menerima pelanggan baru dengan alat pengesahan digital seperti eKYC mampu memastikan perkembangan perniagaan secara jauh dengan penuh yakin.”

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By Experian 05/27/2021

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