Time to Money as a competitive advantage.

Time to Money as a competitive advantage.

There's an obvious secret that businesses understand but are unable to articulate.

The length of time between the delivery of a transaction and its payment alters a business's structure significantly. It creates more value than is obvious.

We'd call it the time-to-money metric.

I got to know an entrepreneur whose Nigerian operation has grown to $20M in annual sales with no debt or loans. How? They always received payment weeks before they provided the goods. Simple!

What is time-to-money?

Loosely defined, time to money refers to the period between when value is attributable to you and when it's available to you to use. (The clock can begin when someone first starts to owe you money or when they initiate the payment, depending on the situation)

If you sell clothes at a random store in Nigeria, and they give you N10,000 in physical cash, the time-to-money for that transaction is 0.
But if you sell to a big manufacturer, you usually get paid in 45days. TTM here is negative 45days.

What's the implication of TTM?

A longer time to money means you'd require more working capital.
In countries where working capital is more difficult to come by, many businesses fail to get started or find it hard to grow due to this metric.

A company that receives payment from its customer before delivering the service will continue to grow indefinitely without external funding as long as demand and supply exist.
A business without this (which is where most business are), will either need to go borrow high-interest loans (which might not be available) to deliver or continuously be under cashflow pressures.

This dynamic is fairly well understood by accountants; it is known as AR Aging (the average amount of time your account receivables go before they get paid).

Is it possible to alter the Time-to-money function and what's the implication?

Traditionally, businesses thriving on instant cash usually meant Time-to-money was 0.

Technology, efficiency, and business growth introduced complexities leading to a negative Time-to-money and its corresponding implications on business cash flow.

The good thing is, Altering the Time-to-money has become a solid value proposition for Startups, especially those in financial services and supply-chain space, for example, Vertofz (Instant cross-border payment), Bridger (Exchange receivables for instant cash), and Bank transfer innovation (Instant Bank transfer).

Time-to-money backers.

  • Credit.
  • Cryptocurrency.


In some cases, Credit as float can be used to release funds before they are settled. In trade, businesses want to offer their customers the option to buy now and pay later.
A BNPL company steps in and offer the business instant Time-to-money while taking on the risk of payment from the buyer.


Improving the Time-to-money function is one of Crypto's main selling points.
A US business wishes to transfer $10m to your Nigerian business.  A wire transfer is initiated, and would normally take 2-3 days (Fx changes, regulatory oversights) lengthens the process.
Crypto could help reduce the time-to-money for cross-border transfers and settlements.

Time-to-money Applications

Money Transfers.

Large cross-border payments have historically been slow.

Most startups use reduced Time-to-money to beat incumbents by using credit or crypto to settle the customer instantly before settlement into the integrator accounts.

Employee wages

Employees are typically paid by the hours but receive funds at the end of the month.

Startups like Payslice use credit as a float to provide employees faster time-to-money by allowing them to access their earned wages whenever they want.

Business payments.

Cashflow is king—it’s a business law number One.

Businesses pay using payment terms such as Net-30, 45, 60 and so on. This time-to-money value affects cash flow, making it difficult to fund subsequent projects and employee payments.

Rather than waiting days or weeks for customers to pay invoices, companies like Bridger advance the value of their invoices to the business, reducing Time-to-money from 45, 60, or 90 days to 0. 

This means businesses get paid faster for completed work and can focus on running the business.

The time-to-money concept is prevalent in every transaction. Usually unnoticed, this minor distinction obscure generates wealth for businesses on its positive side, stress for those on its negative side, and immense value for those that can Bridge the Gap.

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