In line with its continuous efforts to support all businesses and with its ongoing contribution to the growth of the Lebanese economy, Bank Audi launched the “Audi Supply Chain Finance (Audi SCF)” online platform and celebrated its partnership with MERSACO S.A.L., the first company to acquire and service its clients with Audi SCF, during an event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut on Wednesday, December 5.
The platform, an online tool that simplifies the relationship between suppliers and buyers, seeks to optimize their working capital and free up cash.
The Audi SCF offers 3 main features:
- Invoice collection: it facilitates the payment process between buyers and suppliers: buyers are notified of their dues once suppliers upload their invoices on the platform. At maturity, these invoices are automatically settled through the platform by debiting the buyer’s account and crediting the supplier’s account.
This feature will save buyers the hassle of issuing ongoing cheques and outgoing transfers to settle their payables. In brief, it will help them organise and enhance their cash flow.
- Distributor financing: the Audi SCF not only allows buyers to settle their invoices easily; they can also get a credit limit with competitive interest rates through the platform. That way, when buyers are short on cash and need to finance a specific invoice before or on its maturity date, they can request a 100% financing from the Bank who will settle it to the supplier on their behalf.
With the Distributor Financing feature, buyers can benefit from an extended maturity date. For instance, if an invoice is due after 30 days, they can request full financing from the Bank and pay back the amount after 60 days instead. Another option they have is to settle their due to the Bank through equal monthly installments.
- Reverse factoring: this feature helps small scale suppliers get immediate access to their future dues by financing their invoices, while the buyer pays the Bank at maturity or at extended maturity. Unlike the regular process in which small suppliers (raw material providers) get paid after 30 to 180 days from delivering their goods to the buyer, the Audi SCF Reverse Factoring feature allows small suppliers (small business) to request a loan from the Bank, which gives them the chance to use this money to grow their business and optimize their working capital. Buyers will then pay the Bank on the invoice due date, or at a later date upon agreement.
Mr. Marc Audi, General Manager Lebanon – Bank Audi sal, seized the occasion to underline that “despite the challenging times Lebanon is currently witnessing, we are always keen on finding opportunities to support the economy and its different sectors. It is in this approach in mind that we worked on several initiatives, among which the Audi Supply Chain Finance, to support SMEs and to enhance their relationship with suppliers. On another note, we are very happy to announce our partnership with MERSACO, the first company to acquire the Audi SCF services. Bank Audi and MERSACO, the leading distributor of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products in Lebanon, share a long-time, solid relationship, and we are pleased to partner with them and their clients on this new landmark offering.”
Hassan Sabbah, Head of SME Banking at Bank Audi, added: “Both buyers and suppliers can benefit from this platform: on the one hand, it helps suppliers enhance their balance sheet and improve liquidity, simplify their collection process and reduce costs, and have better visibility over all account receivables with their buyers. And on the other hand, it saves buyers the hassle of issuing cheques for their ongoing payables, and helps them access trade financing at competitive interest rates, while optimizing their working capital and organising their cash flow.
Mr. Walid Mroueh, Managing Director, MERSACO said: “We embraced this project because we believe in the complementarity of roles and tasks, and in the need for efficient partnerships which boost our day-to-day work. With the Audi SCF platform, each pharmacist can now streamline his financial transactions, save time and organize payments in an innovative method.” He added: “I want to underline that this service will not replace the crucial role of our sales representatives who will continue to promote our products on the market, to take clients’ orders and to handle customers’ daily needs.” Mroueh concluded by thanking Bank Audi for choosing MERSACO to launch this service for the first time in Lebanon.”