The most popular trade financing methods are the following:

Accounts Receivable Financing

It is a special type of asset-financing arrangement. In such an arrangement, a company utilizes the receivables-the money owed by the customers-as collateral in getting finance.


In this type of financing, the company gets an amount that is a reduced value of the total receivables owed by customers. The time frame of the receivables exerts a large influence on the amount of financing. For older receivables, the company will get less financing. It is also, sometimes, referred to as "factoring".

Letters of Credit

As mentioned earlier, Letters of Credit are one of the oldest methods of trade financing.

Bankers Acceptance

A banker‘s acceptance (BA) is a short-term debt instrument that is issued by a firm that guarantees payment by a commercial bank. BAs are used by firms as a part of commercial transaction. These instruments are like T-Bills and are often used in case of money market funds.

BAs are also traded at a discount from the actual face value on the secondary market. This is an advantage because the BA is not required to be held until maturity. BAs are regular instruments that are used in international trade.

Working Capital Finance

Working capital finance is a process termed as the capital of a business and is used in its daily trading operations. It is calculated as the current assets minus the current liabilities. For many firms, this is fully made up of trade debtors (bills outstanding) and the trade creditors (the bills the firm needs to pay).


Forfaiting is the purchase of the amount importers owe the exporter at a discounted value by paying cash. The forfaiter that is the buyer of the receivables then becomes the party the importer is obligated to pay the debt.


It is a form of international trade where goods are exchanged for other goods, in place of hard currency. Countertrade is classified into three major categories-barter, counter-purchase, and offset.


is the oldest countertrade process. It involves the direct receipt and offer of goods and services having an equivalent value.

In a counter-purchase, the foreign seller contractually accepts to buy the goods or services obtained from the buyer's nation for a defined amount.

In an offset arrangement, the seller assists in marketing the products manufactured in the buying country. It may also allow a portion of the assembly of the exported products for the manufacturers to carry out in the buying country. This is often practiced in the aerospace and defense industries.