Payment Practices Barometer: Response to Delayed Payments

payment practices barometer delayed payments

North American companies increase credit management efforts in response to delayed payments.


The results of our Payment Practices Barometer of surveyed businesses provide insights on the various methods for coping with the disruptive challenges impacting trade and economic conditions. Businesses in a variety of industries in the USMCA region (U.S., Mexico and Canada) completed this survey between the end of Q2 and the beginning of Q3 2023.

The reports on these countries give valuable insights on the current dynamics of corporate B2B payment behavior in the trade sector. It can also help companies doing business, or planning to do so, in the markets polled to identify emerging future trends in the payment practices of B2B customers.

In the U.S., surveyed companies reported that the prolonged global economic downturn was a primary concern that could negatively impact their business into 2024. Increased delinquent payments have prompted businesses across the U.S. to incorporate more extensive trade credit policies for B2B transactions over the past year.

“Despite the U.S. economy faring well thanks to the effective monetary policies of the central bank, the remainder of 2023 and 2024 could pose some challenges both globally and domestically due to tighter lending standards, monetary policy shifts, expected fiscal changes, and inventory volatility,” says Gordon Cessford, Regional Director, North America.

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Here are additional key survey results for the U.S., Mexico and Canada:


  • 91% of U.S. businesses reported they could experience an increase in demand and sales in 2024.
  • Payment terms now average 35 days from invoicing, one week shorter than last year and 74% of those surveyed expect significant improvements to B2B payment practices in 2024.
  • In-house retention and management of customer credit risk was the preference reported by 92% of U.S. companies polled.


  • Payment terms now average 36 days from invoicing, compared to last year’s 52-day average reported by Mexican businesses surveyed.
  • Late payments still impact nearly half of invoiced B2B sales among Mexico’s businesses.
  • 55% of businesses expect profit margins to increase, with the transport sector particularly confident about their ability to capitalize on opportunities specific to their industry.


  • Canadian businesses reported that late payments surged by an average of 30% compared to 2022.
  • The sharp increase in bad debts has been a major challenge for business finances this year.
  • 72% of companies polled expect an increase in demand and sales.

Below is a more detailed overview of the B2B payment practices for each surveyed region:

The latest reports by our expert economists can give you peace of mind on what lies ahead in the countries you serve. For the latest on economic developments all over the world, visit our publications page.