, Thailand

Eight in 10 SMEs in ASEAN rely on technology for cash flow woes

Technology is the top investment priority by most of the respondents.

Eight in 10 (81%) small businesses in ASEAN consider digital solutions as their preferred cash flow management method, according to a study by UOB, Accenture and analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet.

Technology was ranked as the top investment priority by 64% of respondents. Across the region, Thailand (71%) had the highest proportion of small businesses prioritising technology, followed by Indonesia (65%), Vietnam (63%), Singapore (60%) and Malaysia (59%).

Although an overwhelming 88% of respondents have lowered their revenue expectations this year, almost half of them (44%) are still mulling about increasing their overall budget for technology. In terms of sectors, F&B, information and communications technology and healthcare (all 50%) displayed the strongest desire to improve their tech investments, followed by the construction (48%) and retail trade (46%) sectors.

Beyond technology, small businesses are looking to invest in upskilling their employees (51%) and in machinery or equipment (40%) whilst purchasing motor vehicles was their lowest priority (18%).

Businesses are trying to ease cash flow pressures by seeking deferment on their loan repayments (75%), renegotiating the terms of their contracts with suppliers and landlords (75%), and applying for COVID-19-related financing schemes (73%).

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