Learning Labs

The beating heart of the World of Open Account “INSPIRE” activities. A knowledge hub that is created, shared and updated by the WOA Community through expert groups. WOA’s ambition is to create a wide variety of learning labs, covering 4 areas that are of strategic importance for the open account eco-system:

- People and Talent - Risk & Regulation - Products & Markets - Innovation & Development

New labs will be created, whilst others may be archived in the future: it will all depend on how the WOA Community will evolve and on the resources invested by the community and the Lab Supporters.

Every Learning Lab operates as an individual Unit. WOA facilitates all activities, but it is the Chair of the Learning Lab together with the Community Expert Group members who steer the content. They plan the scope and reach of their activities (webinars, presentations, meetings, panel interviews, surveys & polls, white papers & studies, articles, case studies, etc...). These Learning Labs offer a unique opportunity for thought leaders to really make a difference in areas that matter most for them. If you are interested in supporting one of the labs, or if you have suggestions for a new lab, please contact us

Products & Markets

Markets & Regions - WOA in China

Open Account Receivables Financing is in a different stage of maturity across different markets and regions. All these markets have one aspect in common: receivables finance is an excellent tool for financing SMEs and the real economy, thus contributing to the creation of jobs and economic growth. China is one of the fastest growing regions for Receivables Finance during the last 10 years. But there are still big gaps in adoption of best practices and even correct understanding of how Factoring, especially international factoring, differs from traditional banking.  With the “WOA in China” learning lab, the WOA community will organize its efforts to promote the adoption, awareness and acceptance of international factoring in China with a specific focus on articles and education that will also be available in Chinese language, as well promote the communication between the peers in China and and other countries.


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Setting up and Growing a Receivables Finance Operation

How to get started in receivables finance? Which products to choose? Which markets? What are the key drivers for success? Receivables Finance in all of its forms is high on the list of both emerging and mature economies as a tool to support SMEs and economic development. Banks are interested in adding Receivables Finance to their product portfolio but are looking for information and support. This WOA Learning Lab addresses most of the initial questions to be asked when starting with Factoring and Receivables Finance and also offers support and insights for more advanced operations that are looking to grow their product offering. A Lab predominantly focused on knowledge transfer.

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International Open Account Trade Finance

Financing Open Account receivables is one thing; Financing Export (or Import) Receivables brings a new dimension. Cross-border factoring offers additional commercial value but also presents additional challenges in terms of legal, operational and credit risks. Different approaches and support systems exist, depending on the international complexity and risk appetite of the Financial institution. This WOA Lab is a centre of excellence and knowledge in this important area of cross border business.

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Asset Based Lending

Asset Based Lending has evolved into an important mainstream secured lending product in the USA and is slowly migrating into European and other global markets. This Learning Lab focuses on what is similar and what is different in ABL from traditional receivables finance; it aims to contribute to the successful development of this financing technique into other markets.

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SCF - Buyer-led Receivables Finance

Supply Chain Finance is defined as the use of financing and risk mitigation practices and techniques to optimise the management of the working capital and liquidity invested in supply chain processes and transactions. In practice, SCF is generally used to describe buyer-led receivables finance structures (also known as reverse factoring).  This Learning Lab compares and contrasts buyer-led receivables finance with traditional seller-centric receivables finance; it aims to contribute to the successful development of this financing technique.

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Risk & Regulation

Regulation & Compliance

Open account trade finance involves risks related to “trade-based money laundering” or terrorist financing. Fighting these risks is of extreme importance, both from a social responsibility perspective as from a regulatory & compliance perspective. The purpose of this WOA learning lab is to create and share best practices in the industry, but also to cooperate with other organizations and interact with policy makers to explain where necessary the specificities of open account financing.

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Risk Monitoring & Fraud Control

Open account receivables financing requires specific procedures, systems and knowledge to manage a variety of risks. If managed well, the financial losses in case of default of a client are only a fraction of the loss given default for a traditional non-secured bank loan. The risk of fraud is the most difficult to mitigate and therefore probably the most important risk. This WOA learning lab will study and promote best practices in Risk and Fraud control and will share case studies and lessons learned with the community.

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Legal Environment

There is no universally applicable legal or regulatory framework for receivables financing. There are however certain initiatives for legal harmonization from the United Nations (UNCITRAL) for assignment of international trade receivables and for a model law on secured lending. The scope of this WOA learning lab is to collect available information on legal aspects for open account financing and to share ideas and best practices with the community.

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Innovation and Development

New Technology & Fintech

Distributed Ledger technology or blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, Big Data,... every day brings its stream of new technology and “disruptive models” that will also influence or can even dramatically change the way Receivables Finance is being conducted. This WOA Lab is therefore meant as a “Community Observatory” of Fintech evolutions and ideas and to report / challenge / influence the community.

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Receivables as an investment class / Funding & Capital

In recent years, many investors have been focusing attention on “alternative asset classes”. Open Account Receivables is often earmarked as a relatively safe and liquid asset class. But at the same time, receivables have by nature a very short life-cycle and portfolios of receivables can change completely in a matter of weeks. Technology is used to bridge the gap between investors and receivables, thereby creating an interesting new asset class and a new way of funding alternative finance providers. This Lab follows new initiatives, informs the community and acts as an information partner for anyone considering investing in receivables.

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Alternative Finance

Alternative Finance is expanding rapidly as new types of orginators enter the SME financing space. Also new technologies are being introduced to this space to provide new user experience and to enable radical market transformation.

Lab Chair Partner:

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People and Talent

Talent, Diversity & Inclusion

A focus on Talent, Diversity and Inclusion is a critical area for the Industry to support growth and capability. The WOA Learning Lab on Talent, Diversity and Inclusion is designed to help provide the necessary learning and development support to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their background, has the opportunity to contribute to the Industry and to progress their career. It seeks to use the enormous reservoir of talent and knowledge that we know exists and ensure this is passed on to those who can take the baton forward.

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The C-Level : CEO Forum

This lab is the one about strategy and about the big picture: where is the industry heading? What are the major challenges and opportunities for the next 3-5 years? By bringing together a group of C-level thought leaders, this lab facilitates the interaction and “rubbing shoulders” between CEOs only.

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