Export finance basic principles

Export finance is simple and the basic principles are that exporters get paid when they ship and buyers get paid later. Export finance helps exporters to offer credit to their buyers. This means that they can offer “ship now, pay later” terms to buyers – and this is what buyers want.

This is often called “cash against documents” or CAD.¬†Export finance can be provided by a specialist like PrimaDollar, in cooperation with your buyer.

The principles are:

  • Introduce us to your buyer and we talk to the buyer about how to arrange the financing lines that are required,
  • Once this is done:
    • You ship the goods, we pay you upfront against your documents.
    • Your buyer pays later.
  • We take the buyer credit risk, and you do not have to wait for the money.

This improves your cash flow, reduces your risk, and allows you to work more comfortably with your buyers and your own bankers.

Buyer-led programs or exporter-led programs

PrimaDollar now only works with buyer-led programs. Export finance via these basic principles is quite simple to arrange but does require the cooperation of your buyer.

What this means is that, if you would like export finance, you will need to introduce us to your buyer directly. We then work with your buyer to locate a suitable funding source, which may include financing arranged directly by us from our own network. Once that financing is in place, we can then start to provide export finance to you – the exporter.

This is different to “exporter-led” programs, which typically deliver much more expensive financing and which are limited in amount. Exporter-led financing programs are often called “factoring” programs, or work with the “dual-factoring” system. These can be very effective products when buyers are not large or not mainstream – and where the buyer has limited access to credit itself.

Why does a buyer-led export finance program make sense?

Many buyers have good access to credit but no practical method to make it available to their exporting suppliers.

  • Exporters often need to be paid when they ship.
  • Buyers are often reluctant to pay at shipment because they have no integrated system that links shipping documents to their ERP system.
  • And many buyers have supply chain finance programs which only pay out once goods are delivered.

This is the key reason why exporters often introduce PrimaDollar to their buyers. Once buyers have access to our digital trade finance platform, they are able to make payments at shipment with all their risks managed.

This solves the issue for the exporter immediately – and makes the supply chain work better.

Export Finance CAD

I am an importer, how can I get my suppliers paid?

You need Suppy Chain Trade Finance. Find out more about Supply Chain Trade Finance here.

This is a “cash against documents” system, although there are no banks or letters of credit involved. An explanation of cash against documents is here.

Import finance is the same as export finance. The exporter ships, you pay later – PrimaDollar covers the gap. But usually this should be arranged as a program for all your exporters, which can be added on to an existing supply chain finance program or implemented shipment-by-shipment.

  1. Ask PrimaDollar to give you a credit limit for your international suppliers. This costs nothing.
  2. You can use our funding, or you can work with your own funders – most of whom already know us and are already happy to work with us and our structures.
  3. Agree the charge with PrimaDollar and how you want it paid (paid by you, paid by the exporter).
  4. Introduce PrimaDollar to your exporting suppliers and let us on-board them.
  5. Move everyone to “ship, get paid”.

How can I find out more?

With a global network and global coverage, talk to us.

  • More about trade finance: here
  • More about ESG: here


  • Contact us at your local office: here
  • Read more about PrimaDollar: here


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