Two-thirds of sole traders say December is the worst month for delayed invoice payments, according to new research from mobile card payment app SmartTrade App.

The study revealed that 67 per cent are most concerned about cash flow problems over the Christmas period, with 25 per cent of small businesses and sole traders stating that it would be at least February before their delayed invoices and cash flow issues begin to cease.

Financial issues around the festive season were found to be as much of a problem for established businesses as startups, with 35 per cent of SMEs between three and five years old stating that they still struggle to cope with delayed payments.

Additionally, 61 per cent of respondents added that cash flow would be less of a problem if customers would pay on completion. However, fast collection of payments is a particularly difficult in industries such as construction, which currently has the worst record for late payments.

Commenting on the study, SmartTrade App’s co-founder and chief executive Keld van Schreven has suggested sole traders and small businesses should consider changing their payment strategies to ensure they have the facilities to accept immediate payments should the opportunity occur.

"Sole traders and SMEs will need to reevaluate their payments strategy if they are yet to accept card payments," Van Schreven added.

"With cash transactions expected to fall by as much as 30 per cent in the next 10 years it’s more important than ever to let customers pay with plastic."

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