B2B payment practices trends, Western Europe 2023

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Austria,
  • Belgium,
  • Denmark,
  • Finland,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Greece,
  • Ireland,
  • Italy,
  • Netherlands,
  • Spain,
  • Sweden,
  • Switzerland,
  • United Kingdom
  • Agriculture,
  • Consumer Durables,
  • Food,
  • Electronics/ICT,
  • Machines/Engineering,
  • Construction,
  • Chemicals/Pharma,
  • Automotive/Transport,
  • Steel,
  • Metals

The Atradius Payment Practices Barometer is an annual survey of business-to-business (B2B) payment practices in markets across the world. These are the 2023 survey findings for Western Europe.


Barometer instrument | Atradius


The results of our survey provide us with the opportunity to hear directly from companies polled about what measures are undertaken to fund a sudden need for cash due to late or non payment from B2B customers, and what credit management tools they use to mitigate the risk of long-term cash flow problems. 

However, the survey also has a strong focus on the challenges and risks that companies polled believe they will encounter during the coming months, and their expectations for future business growth. 

Topics covered include:

  • the impact of late or non-payment on companies polled;
  • the average time it takes to turn overdue B2B invoices into cash;
  • how businesses manage payment default risks related to selling on credit to B2B customers;
  • expected challenges and risks during the coming months.

Key takeaways from the survey

The most striking finding of our 2023 survey among businesses in Western Europe was the widespread policy of delaying or halting investment plans. This was a clear indication  of financial distress as many companies responded to the uncertain economic landscape  by holding onto cash while struggling to continue operations and meet payment deadlines.

These negative investment decisions, which could threaten economic growth, were taken in a bid to cushion the impact on liquidity levels caused by poorer payment behaviour from financially distressed B2B customers. 

Our survey also found a range of strong concerns about the outlook for the months ahead among companies polled in Western Europe. Due to the fast-changing nature of the global business environment, many companies polled in Western Europe expressed concerns about the uncertainties involved in such important emerging issues such as carbon footprint limitations, clean energy storage, the growing volume of e-commerce and the fragmentation of global trade.

Among issues requiring rigorous long-term investment plans, companies also  expressed anxiety about the availability of skilled staff and their need to fight the risk of cyber fraud. 

Key survey findings by market

For a complete overview of the survey results for Western Europe, please download the full report available in the Related documents section below. The Statistical Appendix to the regional report is also available for download in the section below.

View our findings for each market surveyed for the 2023 Payment Practices Barometer.

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