Delays in the time to collect the Digital Kit have put some digitalizing agents in trouble, but alternative financing mechanisms can provide them with the liquidity they need
The Digital Kit has brought thousands of Spanish companies into the 21st century, opening the door to incorporating cutting-edge technologies and strengthening their online presence. Behind this feat are the digitalizing agents: thousands of other companies offering digitalization services. However, many of them have not yet been able to collect the Digital Kit.
This delay in payments is due to the strictness with which the justification protocols are carried out, which must be reviewed to ensure compliance with all aspects before granting this aid. At the same time, the large volume of kits causes a backlog that keeps increasing the delays day after day.
This can be a real stumbling block for many companies, who do not know when they will be able to collect the Digital Kit, facing cash flow problems.
In an attempt to alleviate the burden on these firms, a line of financing has been launched: ICO credits. However, these oblige them to assume a series of interests and commissions and consume CIRBE so that these debts would remain on record.
However, other solutions exist to enjoy liquidity while they aren’t able to collect the Digital Kit. For example, alternative financing mechanisms. Through platforms such as Inversa Invoice Market, it is possible to obtain financing quickly without consuming CIRBE or facing high commissions.
But first of all, it is essential to understand what these aids consist of and how the deadlines to collect the Digital Kit work.
The Digital Kit, a boost to modernize SMEs
The outbreak of the pandemic was a major economic disaster, triggering the closure of thousands of companies. It was, together with the 2008 crisis, one of the hardest blows to the business fabric in recent history.
This unstable situation led to the approval of the Next Generation funds in Brussels, an ambitious economic plan financed by the European Union that earmarked more than 3 billion euros to accelerate recovery after the health crisis.
This program was articulated through a series of grants, and one of the best-known is the Digital Kit. An initiative of the Government of Spain and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation that, through the Acelera pyme program, tries to give extra support to SMEs and the self-employed.
This not only promotes innovation and the implementation of new technologies in business. It also favors modernization to improve the competitiveness of Spanish companies in a changing and demanding scenario, where falling behind can mean the end of an organization.
Firms that benefit from this aid can contract different services, considering that a maximum subsidy quota has been determined for each. Among them are e-commerce, social network management, website and basic Internet presence, electronic invoicing, customer management, business intelligence and analytics, cybersecurity, virtual office tools… Solutions that, in short, are practically essential for success in today’s business world and digital spheres.
Small businesses, microenterprises, and self-employed can benefit from the Digital Kit, regardless of their sector or business activity. They are the beneficiaries of the aid, i.e., companies that need to digitize and decide to implement new tools or strengthen their presence on the Internet. And as such, they do not have to return the subsidy or pay anything except VAT.
But in this profound modernization exercise, another player plays a crucial role: the digitalizing agents, who will be the ones who can collect the Digital Kit. These companies specialize in digitization tasks and are responsible for implementing the solutions or offering the services mentioned above. They are the suppliers and must be accredited as such.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that a single agent can only carry out each solution. The current criterion for granting aid is chronological: aid is distributed in order of application until the budget runs out.
Deadlines for payment of the Digital Kit
This aid program is singular, which becomes evident when it is time to collect the Digital Kit. In this case, the digitalizing agent receives the payment directly through the red.es platform, thus avoiding the intermediation of the SMEs, which never receive this amount.
However, the transaction will only become effective once the competent authorities have reviewed and approved the justification of the services. This document must be submitted by the digitizing agent, who must include it electronically. In addition, this submission of documentation is divided into two phases.
The solution implementation takes place in the first period, which lasts three months. The agents have three months to justify once it is completed and the invoice is issued. Once they have submitted it, the first part of the payment, which is also split, is due. At this point, they could already enjoy 70% of the total amount, which drops to 40% in the case of social networks.
When the first phase concludes, the second phase also begins, lasting for the next twelve months. At the end of this phase, the businesses have another three months to present the justification of the activities carried out during this period. Once this period has elapsed and the documentation has been verified, they can collect the Digital Kit in full, either 30% or the remaining 60%.
These vouchers are financed with public funds, hence the importance of taking care of all these details with the utmost precision, as this is the way to ensure that the money is used correctly. However, in real life, the above deadlines are not being met. The Public Administration follows its rhythms when reviewing and validating justifications, considerably delaying payments.
And this delay can put many digitizing agents, who have advanced work for which they have not yet been paid, on the ropes.
Larger organizations can cope more easily, but among the more than 10,000 registered agents, many small companies could face serious liquidity problems. This gives rise to a critical situation and forces them to look for ways to solve their economic problems while their justification is not approved, and they fail to collect the Digital Kit.
Inversa, an alternative way to collect the Digital Kit
To help organizations deal with this situation, the Official Credit Institute has created lines of financing: the ICO lines. However, to take advantage of them, the intermediation of credit institutions such as banks is necessary. Businesses have to assume interests and commissions, and these credits consume CIRBE, registering the debt.
This discourages many entrepreneurs from resorting to this alternative, so they are forced to look for other options to have working capital available while they cannot collect the Digital Kit.
Some choose Inversa Invoice Market, an alternative financing platform where companies upload unpaid invoices. A large community of investors constantly dives into the marketplace. If the conditions convince them of one, they will advance that amount for a given period in exchange for interest.
The operation is similar to that of a loan. But, unlike those offered by conventional banks, it does not consume CIRBE, and the conditions are usually more favorable, a real attraction for organizations.
This is the case, for example, of a company in the Ferrolterra area that acted as a digitalizing agent and, as it needed some financial breathing space and had not yet been able to collect the Digital Kit, decided to upload the invoice for the operation to Inversa.
These invoices have a double benefit, as the investors are not only providing liquidity to the company raising the invoice. Indirectly, they also contribute to the digitization of the business fabric locally and nationally.
A fast and efficient solution, within the reach of all companies, opens the door to a wide network of investors and helps them overcome economic difficulties while they cannot collect the Digital Kit.