Afraid of having its contractors fail or bolt, Sprint introduces its ‘Same Day Pay’ financing program

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Stating that it was concerned that it might not be able to maintain 5G construction crews, Sprint has unveiled its all-new ‘Same Day Pay’ financing program, providing day-of compensation to its 5G network builders and suppliers by shortening administrative overhead and collapsing the overpayment process as far as it can go.

The Sprint ‘Same Day Pay’ program is a part of the end-to-end digitalization of field services started in 2018 with the Scopeworker platform.

Sprint suppliers are now able to submit their close-out packages directly from the cell site through the digitalization platform provided by Scopeworker. Upon Sprint’s real-time acceptance, administrative documents and invoices are all reconciled within the platform, allowing suppliers to invoice and select ’Same Day Pay’ financing from Greensill – a global provider of working capital finance – at the click of a button, the carrier said in a press release.

A major Sprint contractor owner, who requested anonymity, spoke with Wireless Estimator and said that he wasn’t aware of the new program and would be anxious to see the full details.

On the surface, he believed it is an excellent idea, but questioned whether it was being rolled out at this time to influence state attorneys general when the T-Mobile/Sprint merger lawsuit begins December 9, 2019.

“What I find interesting is Sprint says it’s being done to make sure that their contractors stay with them, but right now T-Mobile has provided a glut of contractors available to do the work because they cancelled all projects for the year and then stopped paying their contractors on time in violation of their services agreement.”

“Hopefully, if the merger is completed that T-Mobile will acknowledge that they can’t cripple contractors and should take a lead from Sprint,” he said.

Wireless Estimator broke the news in late August that T-Mobile was canceling 5G upgrades until 2020 and arbitrarily stopped paying its contractors.

National Association of Tower Erectors Executive Director Todd Schlekeway saw the Sprint announcement as a positive for the industry.

“As an organization, NATE has been concerned about the disturbing lagging payment terms that contractors are witnessing. It clearly will impact 5G deployment. Optimistically, Sprint’s announcement could assist in reversing the trend of extended payment terms so that contractors are capable of funding additional work as their cash flow improves,” Schlekeway said.

“Sprint is digitizing field services from start to finish and democratizing the supply chain as never done before,” said Chas Peterson, head of procurement & supply chain for Sprint. “We bring it full circle by working with small, minority- and veteran-owned businesses, ensuring that their high-quality work is met with same day compensation so they can continue building their businesses without worry of being paid,” a statement that seemed to take a jab at T-Mobile’s recent payment delays.

Wireless carriers around the world traditionally struggle to reconcile the documentation required to approve a supplier’s invoice.  In the United States, suppliers can wait up to three months for documentation and invoice approval, delaying payment even further, Sprint acknowledged

By automating the procurement, management and payment processes, Sprint is able to auto-engage small businesses together for a cost-effective deployment of its 5G network, ultimately removing disconnected platforms and de-risking availability of work crews, the carrier said.

“Sprint and Scopeworker are working in unison to improve operations and increase satisfaction on both sides,” said General David Leakey, advisor to Scopeworker’s board of directors. “By encouraging faster payment processes, we are able to reach deadlines quicker from end-to-end without sacrificing quality of work. Our platform also allows banks to use real-time analytics to provide data-driven financing prior to completion of the project.”

“This three-pronged collaboration allows Greensill to provide low-cost access to capital that will help small businesses build the next generation of wireless infrastructure,” said Greensill Founder and CEO Lex Greensill. “From start-up companies to the biggest multinational enterprises, our working capital solutions are crucial to the successful rollout of 5G.”

Wireless Estimator has contacted Sprint and Greensill about the financing charge.