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Banks may have stopped lending but cash advances are on the increase

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

As Bank of England figures reveal that banks are still curbing their lending to business, Merchant Cash Express announces that it has doubled the amount of financial support it has given to small enterprises over the past 12 months particularly in the convenience retail sector, through Business Cash Advance.

With smaller organisations finding it particularly difficult to get credit, cash advances are an increasingly popular way to receive a financial injection especially for convenience and small retail stores which make up one quarter of all Business Cash Advance’s contracts.

“Although banks are restricting their lending, we have doubled the number of small businesses we have worked with over the past year and expect that growth to continue,” says Richard Morley, director at Merchant Cash Express. “We have an appetite for investment and are actively seeking businesses to support.”

Companies are finding that a cash advance is an effective and efficient way of securing much needed funding to help them expand and grow and are often recommended by their banks to consider a cash advance because they recognise how difficult it is at the moment to get loans approved.

Advances, which average £14,000 but can be up to £100,000, are given against future credit and debit card transactions and are repaid as these transactions are made. Whilst a fee is charged, no interest is accrued and there are no fixed monthly payments with the advance repaid as a percentage of these future transactions as they occur.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and they need to flourish if we are to see the end of the recession. Loans are increasingly difficult to secure, overdrafts are often not enough yet businesses occasionally need an injection of cash to ease cash flow, buy stock or pay for improvements,” adds Richard Morley.

Merchant Cash Express launched Business Cash Advance just three years ago after identifying the success of the sector in the US and has already helped thousands of small businesses to raise much needed funding, quickly and easily. The cash amount is based on the forecasted credit and debit card transaction values and is typically equivalent to one month’s card sales. To qualify, a business simply has to have been trading for one year, be regularly achieving in excess of 25 credit and debit card transactions a month at a minimum total value of £3,500.00. Clients typically include convenience stores, florists, hairdressers, dentists, hotels and restaurants.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of Business Credit Management UK (www.creditman.co.uk)  and the full original article can be found by clicking here.

Orders up, profits down at smaller firms but late payment continues to be a problem

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Many small businesses have experienced a rise in orders and turnover in recent months, new research has discovered.

The Forum of Private Business found that almost one in three (30%) members on its ‘Economy Watch’ panel saw increases in their order books and turnovers, with only 16% reporting a decrease.

Business for the remaining 54% stayed steady between the Forum’s previous survey in mid October and the latest study, which was carried out in late November.

However, many business owners on the panel also reported a sharp drop in profitability during the same period as increases in fuel costs, energy prices and raw materials hit home.

At 46%, almost half of the firms surveyed said they had seen a recent increase in the cost of doing business, with only 1% reporting that costs had fallen.

As a result, 27% of Economy Watch panel members reported a decrease in profitability since they were last surveyed in October, compared to just 14% who reported an increase.

Forum spokesman Phil McCabe said: “Our research shows that, for now at least, business appears to be on the up for many small firms. This perhaps reflects other statistics on the health of the overall economy in recent months.

“However, the ever-increasing costs of unavoidable overheads like gas, electricity, fuel and raw materials are taking their toll and eating into small companies’ profitability.

“This inflationary pressure is a real concern – it basically means more money is being sucked out of small firms and transferred overseas, or over to multi-national businesses in the utility and oil industries. It’s something the Government really needs to tackle if it wants smaller businesses to drive economic growth and create jobs in the months and years ahead.”

Economy Watch also revealed businesses expect to secure 20% more finance for development in 2011 than they did in 2010.

Those surveyed anticipated to receive around £45,500 each next year, rather than the £38,000 they said they expected during 2010 when surveyed in February.

However, the amount business expect to source from external sources – predominantly traditional bank lending – has seen a 27% slump. Correspondingly, the amount business owners expect to come from internal sources such as directors, friends and family members, has shot up from 10% for 2010 to 45% for 2011.

Mr McCabe commented: “It’s obviously encouraging to see that smaller businesses expect to invest more in business development next year than they did in 2010. It shows they are fairly optimistic about their prospects as we head into 2011 and believe they will be able to develop and grow in the future.

“The large drop in the amount of finance small companies expect to receive from external sources does serve as a stark reminder of how much faith has been lost in traditional credit streams such as bank lending.

“However, we believe there are alternatives and ways for SMEs to greatly improve their chances of securing finance. That’s why we’re helping businesses access innovative new schemes like the Funding Store and the Funding Circle, which aim to get creditworthy firms the best possible borrowing deals by sharing their details with a much greater volume and diversity of potential lenders.

“We also helped to devise the operating principles for Doing Business Together – a body made up of organisations including banks, credit rating agencies and trade credit insurers to help smaller firms manage their finances better and access the funds they need.”

Economy Watch also found that businesses appear to have been encouraged by the recent Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) outlined by Chancellor George Osborne. Before the CSR announcement in October, 48% of panel members were positive about the Government’s handling of the economy, but since the CSR, the figure has risen to 57%.

Other key findings from the November Economy Watch report included:

Businesses confidence is slightly higher than it was in October, but still significantly below a peak recorded by Economy Watch in April. Around 41% of business owners said they are either ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ that their business will grow in the next six months, compared to just 12% who said they are either ‘pessimistic’ or ‘very pessimistic’. The survey found an overall ‘confidence score’ of 0.28 in late November, compared to 0.38 seven months earlier.

Based on the responses from panel members, employment among SMEs is expected to increase by around 3% in 2011. Vacancies outweighed redundancies among those surveyed for the third month running, following an overall contraction in employee numbers from February to July.

Creating a better economic climate emerged as the top priority among those surveyed. When askedwhat was neededto help their business grow, 23% of panel members selected ‘an improvement in the economy’ from a list of 12 options. Improved business/consumer confidence emerged as the second most popular choice, finding favour with 21% of respondents, followed by internal business development, on 19%.

Almost nine out of every ten business owners appear unconcerned about the Coalition’s shake-up of regional development agencies. 68% of respondents said they do not use public sector business support, while 21% said the replacement of regional development agencies with local enterprise partnerships would make no difference to them.

Late payment continues to be a problem for smaller companies. The amount of panel members’ capital which is tied up in late payment increased by around 1.4%, at an average of 37% each.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of Business Credit Management UK (www.creditman.co.uk)  and the full original article can be found by clicking here.

A third of people expect their finances to worsen in 2011

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

A third of people (30%) believe that their financial situation will worsen over the next six months, according to a quarterly survey by R3, the insolvency trade body – an increase of 7 percent on the last quarter. The number of people who believe that their financial situation will improve has fallen from 35 percent to just 22 percent.

R3 President, Steven Law commented:

“Since we last carried out the survey, the government has issued the Comprehensive Spending Review that announced job cuts and welfare cuts, so it is unsurprising that fewer people are feeling optimistic about their financial outlook. In many cases of personal insolvency the contributory factor is a sudden change in circumstance, such as losing a source of income, which makes repaying outstanding debts difficult. With personal debt hitting record highs and job cuts looming, many people will be feeling vulnerable.”

The research shows that the number of people who are worried about their current level of debt has remained steady, with one in four (39%) expressing concern. In the West Midlands, people are most likely to worry, with half of those surveyed saying they are worried about their debts. In London, one in four are concerned.

Credit card debts continue to dominate the concerns of those who are worried about their debts, with 47 percent saying this accounts for their worries. Of those concerned about their debts, over a quarter (28%) of people are concerned about how far they are into their overdraft. Amongst those who worry about their debts, concern about mortgage repayments has jumped 4 percent – from 19 percent to 23 percent – since the last survey.

Steven Law continued:

“I see many people who are concerned about their credit card debts as, worryingly, they rely on them for day-to-day purchases. Unfortunately, I fear that the number of people worrying about their levels of credit card debt is set to grow.

“The jump in the number of people worrying about their mortgage repayments may be due to the fact that, typically, the value of a mortgage repayment tends to be higher than the monthly repayment on a credit card. The higher value of this debt may make a mortgage repayment seem more difficult to pay each month. Many may be concerned that their repayments will increase when interest rates start to rise. People who feel that they are struggling with their personal debt should seek professional advice on managing their household budget as soon as possible.”

R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals, and represents 97% of the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of Business Credit Management UK (www.creditman.co.uk)  and the full original article can be found by clicking here.

England's 2018 FIFA World Cup bid ends in defeat

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

England has this afternoon learnt that it has lost it’s bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  They were beaten by Russia.

An earlier report by sports finance analysts stated that “England’s bid to host the 2018 football World Cup is better than any of the rival bids when judged according to profitability and legacy” however, it would seem that the FIFA executive committee decided otherwise and awarded the prestigious tournament to Russia, where it will be the first World Cup to be held in Eastern Europe.

Also the 2022 FIFA World Cup host has been announced this afternoon.  It will be held in the oil rich gulf state of Qatar, this another first in World Cup history, as it will be the first time an Arab nation has hosted the tournament.

It is extremely disappointing that England have lost this bid however, it is likely that the bid team will now go away and ensure that their next attempt is a success.  The earliest England would be eligible to bid for the tournament is for the 2026 World Cup.

It is too early to see how this loss will effect the UK economy however, other events hosted in the UK throughout the next decade are likely to help the countries financial situation, which is in definite need of improvement.

2018 FIFA World Cup

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

The bidding process for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is currently underway.  The bidding procedure to host the World Cup began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2nd February 2009 to register their interest.  The twenty-two member FIFA Executive Committee will vote to select the host later today, at approximately 3.00pm (GMT).

The bid from England is faced with competition from Russia, as well as joint bids from Belgium-Netherlands and Portugal-Spain respectively.  It is widely published that the bid from Portugal & Spain is the leading contender and that will of course come as welcome news to government of both nations, who are currently plotting an economical revival, following the global recession.  Earlier this month it was announced that Germany, along with the International Monetary Fund and the 15 other nations that share the euro, were to set up a $1 trillion fund this year to contain Europe’s debt crisis and protect the euro, therefore any positive news will certainly be welcomed.

Some might say fortunately for England, our government decided not to take us into the Euro and elected to keep the British Pound, which, on face value appears to have been a shrewd decision, despite our own economical downturn, we are perhaps better placed than a number of other European countries.

A delegation from England fronted by Prime Minister, David Cameron, Prince William (In his capacity of President of the Football Association) and David Beckham, has worked extremely hard to persuade the FIFA Executive Committee to vote for England.  As the founders of Association Football it is hard to believe that England has not hosted this prestigious tournament since 1966, some 44 years ago and if the bid is defeated, as it was in 2006 when England were beaten in a vote by Germany, England would have to wait until 2026 before becoming eligible to make another attempt to host the tournament under the FIFA continent rotation system.

Our blog post earlier this year discussed the economic benefits to South Africa, the host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the ongoing legacy that a successful event can have on a nation.  In 1996 England hosted the UEFA European Football Championships, which resulted in a number of improvements to stadia and infrastructure throughout the whole of the UK.   With all due respect to that prestigious competition, the FIFA World Cup is able to provide so much more, which could be vital for our own economical revival.  As with the Olympic Games in London which will be held in 2012 and a number of other sporting events already scheduled between 2010-2020, the government is keen to promote this our ‘Golden Decade of Sport’ and something which can provide a symbol of hope and enjoyment, through bleak  economic times.

I hope you all agree that the benefits of hosting prestigious sporting events can provide so much for the UK economy and provide long lasting benefits to businesses & individuals alike.  Please join us and ‘Back the Bid’.

Court delays are costing landlords thousands in lost income

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Landlords are having to wait up to eight weeks to enforce possession of their properties from non-paying tenants, according to a new report.

The result is thousands of pounds lost in unpaid rents and the risk of properties being trashed and left uninhabitable, further adding to the owners woes.

The research, by the specialist enforcement company Shergroup, highlighted serious delays between the time from a possession order being granted to the point that a court bailiff is available to evict the tenant.

High Wycombe, Huddersfield, Ilford, Leigh, Romford, Salford, Slough, Willesden and Woolwich County Courts all admitted delays of up to eight weeks and the problem could get worse as the full impact of the spending cuts is felt according to Shergroup Chief Executive, Claire Sandbrook:

“Court resources are being stretched and in the busiest courts they are no longer able to deliver an enforcement service that could in any way be considered reasonable,” she says. “And with budgets being cut by 25%, and the number of tenants falling into arrears likely to rise, the problem is only going to get worse.”

All 167 County Courts were surveyed and asked how soon a bailiff could be available to enforce an eviction. Timeframes varied depending on the size of the court, and the volume of cases they were obliged to handle. Some of the smaller courts, such as Aberdare, could respond within seven days; others could not give an answer at all, either because they didn’t know, or more likely that they didn’t want to commit to something they couldn’t deliver.

Claire says that part of the problem is that the courts are simply being overwhelmed, but that with no common IT platform, there is no mechanism from moving caseloads from busy courts to those with spare capacity, or make greater use of private sector High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs): “It seems inconceivable that in these days of shared services and public-to-private partnerships, that more isn’t being done to spread the load,” she says.

“Whilst money has been invested in getting to judgment more speedily, this is of little use if the creditor ­ in this case the landlord ­ still has to wait weeks and even months to have that judgment enforced.”

There are an estimated 60,000 possession orders granted each year, according to Shergroup, of which around 3,000 are passed to the private sector to collect. Private HCEOs charge more for their services than their public sector counterparts, but Claire says that waiting months for an enforcement that could be completed within days is a false economy:

“Many landlords are private individuals who depend on rental income to meet their own financial obligations,” she says. “Not only are they having to pay to take their tenants to court, but they are then losing vital rent while they wait for a bailiff to give them an eviction date.

“It is a postcode lottery,” she concludes, “that could be easily resolved if only the Ministry of Justice had the imagination to fundamentally overhaul the administrative process.”

Shergroup intends to publish a league table on its website on a regular basis.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of Business Credit Management UK (www.creditman.co.uk)  and the full original article can be found by clicking here.

New research reveals that businesses and consumers are wrong when it comes to knowing when a cheque won't bounce

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

New market research has found that cheque recipients’ understanding of how long they have to wait before they can be certain that a cheque won’t bounce, and that the money is safely theirs, is still very low.

Since 30 November 2007, customers have benefited from an industry-wide change which ensures that, six working days after paying in a cheque, the money is theirs to keep.  This means that there is no chance of the cheque funds being reclaimed by the paying bank unless the customer is a knowing party to a fraud.  Before this change, a cheque could have bounced weeks or even months after it had been paid it in, potentially leaving customers who had spent cheque funds out of pocket.  This was one of a number of changes to the cheque clearing process known as 2-4-6 *.

Despite such a positive change, market research carried out on behalf of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company has revealed that only 1% of consumers correctly know how long you have to wait before you can be certain that the money is yours.  Worryingly, 79% believe that the cheque funds are definitely theirs earlier than they actually are.  15% are unsure or have no idea of when a cheque has safely cleared.

Businesses, for whom certainty is often more important because they may be waiting to hand over goods or services, fared equally poorly – only 2% correctly identified that you have to wait until the end of the sixth working day before you can be sure that the cheque funds are yours.  82% think that the timescale is earlier than six working days.  9% are unsure or have no idea of when a cheque has safely cleared.

It is particularly important that businesses are aware of the cheque clearing timescales given that on 30 June next year the Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme is being withdrawn, meaning that after this date businesses will no longer be able to accept a cheque guaranteed with a plastic card.

To help customers better understand when their cheque won’t bounce, and the other timescales involved, the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company provides an online tool on its website where customers can enter the date they pay in their cheque to work out when they can be sure that the money is theirs to keep.  The checker is free to use at: www.chequechecker.co.uk.

Angela Thomas, managing director of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, said:

“Although only a tiny percentage of the cheques being processed every day are actually returned unpaid it’s still disappointing that so many people are unaware of when cheque funds are definitely theirs to keep.  If anyone is unsure of the timescales involved I would urge them to look at the information on our website, or simply check with their bank or building society when they are paying it in.”

In addition to the cheque checker, there is a section on the 2-4-6 changes in a new, revised edition of Cheques and Cheque Clearing the Facts.  This booklet, produced in co-operation with the Belfast Bankers’ Clearing Company, provides useful information and key facts about cheques including the clearing cycle and the 2-4-6 timescales. It is available to download from the Resources/Publications section of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company website at www.chequeandcredit.co.uk.

The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) is a non-profit making industry body, which has managed the cheque clearing system in England and Wales since 1985, and in all of Great Britain since 1996 when it took over responsibility for managing the Scottish cheque clearing.  As well as clearing cheques, the system processes bankers’ drafts, building society cheques, postal orders, warrants, government payable orders and travellers’ cheques.  The company also manages the systems for the clearing of paper bank giro credits (the credit clearing), euro cheques (the euro clearing) and US dollar cheques (the currency clearing for US dollar cheques drawn on London banks.

* The 2-4-6 changes to the cheque clearing timescales
In an electronic age, people ask why it still takes three days to clear a cheque.  The fact is, cheques still have to be returned physically to the bank on which they are drawn to be examined for fraud.  This and other issues were addressed by the Cheques Working Group, which was set up in October 2005 by the OFT-led Payment Systems Task Force.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of Business Credit Management UK (www.creditman.co.uk)  and the full original article can be found by clicking here.

Total lending rises in October but remains far lower than is necessary

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Data released by the Bank of England shows that total lending to individuals rose by £1.3 billion in October, almost double the anticipated increase. This was the third consecutive increase in total lending following a £1.5 billion rise in August and a £0.2 billion increase in September. October’s rise compares to an average increase of £0.8 billion for 2010 so far, yet proved to be only the fifth highest monthly increase this year.

Looking in more detail at the Bank of England’s updated statistics reveals that last month’s increase in total lending was comprised of a £1.0 billion rise in secured lending and a £0.3 billion increase in unsecured lending (consumer credit). Yet over the past six months there has been no overall rise in consumer credit. This compares to an average monthly increase of £1.6 billion in the five years before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, when consumers were much more confident and bank lending terms were far less restrictive.

These statistics also shows that the total number of mortgage approvals declined slightly to 47,185 in October from a revised 47,369 in September marking the sixth consecutive fall in approvals. The total number of approvals for remortgaging increased for the third consecutive month, rising to 28,903 in October from 28,390 in September. Yet this compares to an average number of remortgaging approvals of around 100,000 per month pre-credit crunch.

Despite the better than expected results, lending remains far weaker compared to the historic norm. While it is unlikely that over the next few years we will return to the reckless levels of lending that have indebted generations to come, the structural level of prudent borrowing consistent with robust economic growth is higher than is currently being achieved. The Bank of England would do well to maintain its loose monetary policy.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of Business Credit Management UK (www.creditman.co.uk)  and the full original article can be found by clicking here.

Less than half of all UK credit managers believe that the new EU Late Payment Directive will have a positive impact in combating late payments

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Less than half of all UK credit managers (48 per cent) believe that the new EU Late Payments Directive, which is to be introduced by the beginning of 2013, will have an impact when tackling late payments, according to research conducted by Graydon UK the commercial credit reference agency.

The survey finds also that 54 per cent of UK companies have experienced their suppliers attempting to change their payment terms without prior consultation in the last twelve months. Indeed, one in five (20 per cent) have experienced this on multiple occasions during this time frame.

Further, half of all companies (50 per cent) have experienced their large customers asking for a discount if their payment is simply made on time during the course of the last year.

The EU Directive is intended to ensure that all private companies and public bodies settle invoices in 30 days, although in the private sector, buyers and sellers can contractually agree longer terms provided the terms are not “grossly unfair” to the creditor. Public bodies would have 60 days at most to pay their trade bills under the new rules. The European Parliament has also demanded that any public body failing to adhere to these terms can then be subjected to a flat rate compensation of five per cent of the amount owed plus interest. In such circumstances suppliers can also charge their debtor 40 Euros for costs of recovering the debt.

Martin Williams, Managing Director of Graydon UK, commented: “Unless this directive is enforced effectively then it will suffer a similar fate the UK’s 1998 Late Payment of Commercial Debts Interest Act, which as our research suggests has not been universally effective. Although the EU should be applauded for taking the incentive to try and improve the situation we currently find ourselves in.”

The EU has looked to address the scenario affecting many SMEs after it found that there was €1.9trn of late payments in the European economy during 2009, €1.1trn of which is owed to SMEs. The directive is designed to halt this trend freeing up some €180b of liquidity to businesses across all industries in the EU, while providing the much needed protection SMEs have been looking for.

Martin Williams added: “This new legislation does not attempt to address some of the most significant problems facing SMEs as purchasing power continues to shape commercial relationships in the worldwide capitalist market. There is no utopia where all firms are equal. Suggestions that small firms are going to be able to hit back hard and consistently against larger trading partners are unrealistic. Smaller companies are naturally frightened of losing valuable customers if they push too hard for their statutory rights.”

“Company owners and credit decision makers should enter into trading relationships with their eyes open. In order to maintain a healthy cash flow position, firms need to credit vet new business applicants, and monitor the ongoing payment behaviour of existing customers; relying on legislation for prompt payment will never be enough.”

Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford said: “While commendable in spirit, the new EU Directive does give big companies considerable scope to continue squeezing their suppliers and this probably explains the sense of scepticism among credit managers.

“Giving provision for buyers and suppliers in the private sector to ‘agree’ on their own terms will, in reality, allow late payment practices to continue unabated, and the clause requiring terms not to be “grossly unfair” to the creditor is a rather ambiguous one which I expect would be incredibly impractical to enforce.

“The findings of this research also underline the seriousness of the late payment issue. The figures
concerning companies which have had to deal with attempts to change payment terms are quite startling and reinforce the view, which I put across to a select committee hearing just this week, that late payment is currently the biggest threat to the survival of smaller businesses.”

Mr Orford added: “Like Mr Williams, we at the Forum believe that, while useful, legislation alone is not enough to tackle the late payment problem. There is no quick fix solution but better financial reporting and transparency is essential.”

Further information can be found at the Forum of Private Business late payment ‘Hall of Shame’, which lists the names of big companies who squeeze smaller suppliers.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of Business Credit Management UK (www.creditman.co.uk)  and the full original article can be found by clicking here.

Will Facebook revolutionise communications?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and now Hollywood movie character, has launched his company’s new messaging platform, designed to create a single point of access to email, chat, instant messages and mobile text messages.

Have the seeds been sewn for a communications revolution?

It’s certainly an expansive move by the business, as it will allow the receipt of emails from beyond the Facebook perimeter, lining it up alongside established browser-based favourites such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Google in the contest for users’ affections.

Access to the latest technology is invitation-only for now, but the service is due to be rolled out during the next few months.

Zuckerberg is the first to acknowledge, however, that it will take time for consumers to make significant changes to their email habits and opt for Facebook Messages ahead of the rest.

From our perspective, this development can conjure one of two primary reactions.

Firstly, it could be the start of something very special, the birth of a new generation of messaging. Secondly, and not so positively, it could raise serious privacy issues.

The truth is invariably somewhere in between, an ambitious but by no means mould-breaking step on a seemingly endless path of social media development.

Email is still alive and kicking, just as Twitter continues to blossom, and one minor shift in power does not a coup make.

For those of us in the creative technologies business, such developments might set our pulses racing. Yet, for the rest of the world – the butchers, bakers or candlestick makers – the reaction is typically a lot more muted, change can take many years to effect and it takes something quite monumental to make them down tools and pay attention.

For now, the workers can carry on and ignore talk of a revolution.

If you would like discuss how our Debt Recovery/Debt Collection service can assist your business, please visit the ‘Debt Recovery/Debt Collection’ section on our website,  contact us on +44 (0) 151 515 3014 or email us.

Please note: Information in this blog post is content property of LDP Business News and the full original article can be found by clicking here.