Import From China Business

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A practical guide for starting a small business

Why Use International Banking Services?

International Banking Services are vital to the businesses interested in the import export trade.  Sooner or later, you will need to figure out how to pay and get paid from your counterparts with multiple currencies around the globe.  International Banking Services handle all the international payments for importers and exporters from documentary collections to letters of credit. International banks have relationships with local domestic banks and banks from other countries which makes them a great resource.  Within the United States alone, there are 300+ banks with an international department waiting to serve you.

International Banking Services

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4 Types of International Banking Services

As a business importing from China, there are international banking services that you should be familiar with.  Such services range from: foreign exchange, movement of finances across borders, a source of information and connections, and other general banking services.  

  1. Foreign Exchange

    One of the challenges of the import export business is dealing with multiple currencies.  The exchange rates are constantly fluctuating. If you are an importer from the United States, the best way to eliminate concerns on exchange fluctuations is to have quotes made in U.S. dollars and establish payments in U.S. dollars.  This is possible due to the broad acceptance of the U.S. dollar worldwide.   Depending on what country is considered your home country, you may be able to adapt this method of payment or receipt of funds in your local currency.  

    If your import export business partners prefer to be paid in a foreign currency, then consulting an international bank to obtain foreign exchange advice is advisable particular if the monetary value is large. International Banks can offer currency hedge as one of its services. The bank will offer to you the option of buying forward or futures contracts for a specified amount of a certain currency at a future date.
  2. Movement of Finances across Borders

    One of the obstacles to international trade is trust.  It is understandable that an exporter is suspicious of an importer's willingness and ability to pay.  Unless relationships have been established, it is unlikely that the exporter will allow the importer to pay by using an
    open account or credit basis.  Under this situation, the seller simply bills the buyer after the delivery of the goods.

    A more secured form of payment will likely be required.  This could take place in the form of
    prepayments where the importer pays the exporter prior to receipt of the goods.  However, the importer bears all the risks in this situation.

    A more balanced approach is the use of D
    ocumentary Letters of Credit or Drafts.  This involves the use of third parties or intermediaries to ensure that payments are made and received in a timely manner.  The documents need to be submitted before payments can occur.

    Another approach called the
    Import Letter of Credit is a bank's written promise of paying the exporter once the importer receives the goods.

3.  Source of Information and Connections

Your International Bank has comprehensive information and connections services which will benefit you as the importer tremendously.  The bank may have international connections for you to investigate.  Minimally, the bank should be able to write you a letter of introduction for you to establish a credible relationship with a foreign bank in the country of origin.  The International Bank can also check your potential supplier's credit worthiness.  Market reports both domestic and international should also be available through your bank.

4.  Other General Banking Services

An International bank has the services to fulfill all your business needs. They range from providing short and long term credit, taking your deposits and executing payments and providing business credit cards.

International Banking Services are vital to the success of the import from China business person.  Make sure that you take advantage of this great resource.