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Updated: Jul 5, 2023

When it comes to international trading, one of the most crucial issues is how you will get paid for your exports. While accepting cash-up advances eliminates the danger of nonpayment, it narrows your pool of possible consumers by causing cash flow and other issues for purchasers.


In international trade, five basic payment methods vary from the most secure to the least fast: cash in advance, letter of credit, documented collection or draught, open account, and consignment. Of course, the exporter's most secure approach is also the least safe for the importer and vice versa. The trick is to achieve a balance that benefits both parties. Letters of credit are the subject of this essay.


An exporter can avoid credit risk using cash-in-advance payment arrangements since payment is paid before ownership of the products is transferred. The most common cash-in-advance solutions given to exporters for international transactions are wire transfers and credit cards. Escrow services are becoming another cash-in-advance alternative for small export deals as the Internet advances. On the other hand, payment in advance is the least appealing choice for the buyer since it produces an adverse cash flow. Foreign purchasers are also concerned that the items may not be delivered if payment is in advance. As a result, exporters that insist on using this payment method as their only mode of operation may lose out to competitors who offer more appealing payment terms. To learn more about Cash-in-Advance, click here.


Letters of credit (LCs) are one of the safest financial tools available to international businesspeople. An LC is a promise a bank gives on the buyer's behalf, ensuring the exporter's payment. Following the LC's terms and conditions, as evidenced by the presentation of all requisite documentation. To obtain this service, the buyer gets credit and pays their bank. When obtaining reliable credit information on a foreign buyer is challenging, but the exporter is confident in the trustworthiness of the buyer's foreign bank, an LC is beneficial. An LC likewise protects the buyer since no payment is due until the products are delivered as promised. Find out more about Letters of Recommendation.


A documentary collection (D/C) is a transaction in which the exporter entrusts the supply of a sale's payment to its bank (remitting bank), which sends the documents required by the buyer to the importer's bank (collecting bank) with instructions to release the documents to the buyer for payment. While returning those papers, one can obtain funds to make payment via banks participating in the collection. D/Cs use a draught that compels the importer to pay the face amount immediately (document against payment) or later (document against acceptance). The collection letter specifies the paperwork submitted to transfer title to the items. Although banks serve as facilitators for their customers, D/Cs have no verification mechanism and few consequences in the case of nonpayment. D/Cs are less costly than LCs in general. More information about Documentary Collections is listed here.


An open account transaction is one in which the items are transported and delivered before payment is due, which is common in 30, 60, or 90 days in international transactions. It is one of the most cost-effective and cash-flow-friendly solutions for the importer but also one of the riskiest ones for the exporter. Because of the fierce rivalry in export markets, overseas buyers frequently demand exporters for open account terms since seller-to-buyer credit is more widespread in other countries. As a result, exporters are hesitant to issue financing and risk losing a sale to their rivals. By employing one or more of the proper trade financing procedures discussed later in this Guide, exporters can provide competitive open account terms while significantly reducing the risk of nonpayment. When offering open account terms, the exporter might purchase export credit insurance for added protection.


In international trade, a consignment is a type of open account in which payment is made to the exporter only after the items have been sold to the ultimate customer by the foreign distributor. An international consignment transaction contractual arrangement based in which the exporter receives handles and sells the products to the foreign distributor, who keeps the title to the commodities until sold. Exporting on consignment is dangerous since the exporter is not assured payment and the items are in the hands of an independent distributor or agency in a foreign nation—consignment aids exporters in being more competitive by increasing the availability of goods and allowing for speedier delivery. Exporters can also save money by selling consignments since it lowers the direct expenses of inventory storage and management. Partnering with a renowned and trustworthy international distributor or third-party logistics provider is the key to success when exporting on consignment. Appropriate insurance should be in place to protect consigned products in transit or under the ownership of a foreign distributor and limit the risk of nonpayment.

In XIMPEX, we try to work on the safety part and keep your methods of payment sincerely secure. Try out our different packages and subscription and experience the safest and most reliable export with us!

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