Letter of Credit Basics: Risks in Letters of Credit

Each international trade transaction carries a risk, lower or higher.

Some trade relationships might have been established for a long period of time between importers and exporters, whom are located in safe countries with sound financial backgrounds.

In such a scenario, we can talk about two professional partners, working for a win-win situation, both of them understanding its roles and responsibilities in order to complete the transaction in a good manner.

Concluding these kinds of transactions financially would not be a difficult task.

Now, I want you to think just an opposite scenario. Potential trade is about to initiate between an importer and exporter, whom has no enough knowledge about the counter party. Even more, at least one party is located in a politically unstable country.

What do  you think. Which payment method should be chosen to satisfy both parties under such extreme conditions?

Do you think that you can find a risk free payment method that you can rely on regardless of the surrounding conditions?

Above, I have tried to illustrate two different conditions effecting the payment selection decisions in international trade.

What sort of risks each letter of credit party has to bear in export and import transactions?

On this post, I will try to explain the risks associated with international payment methods in general.

Specifically, I will emphasize the risks in letters of credit for different parties perspectives.

Letter of Credit Basics: Definition and Types

Letter of credit is a payment method used in international trade transactions.

The letter of credit is distinguished itself from other payment methods in international trade by its complex structure and detailed rules.

Due to this complex structure, many international trade personnel have facing difficulties in letter of credit transactions.

Starting with today's post, I will be writing articles regarding different aspects of letters of credit. Hoping that my posts will be helping you out in your daily work.

The first article not only explains letter of credit definition but also defines letters of credit types.

Letter of Credit Definition | Letter of Credit Types

Payment Methods in International Trade

If you would like to be permanent and successful in international trade then you need to learn payment methods very well.

Profit margins in a typical foreign trade transaction is limited due to high competition but risks are high.

One mistake could lead to your bankruptcy.

Reasons why you need to know international payment methods:
  • Legal Issues: In international business your customer will be located in a different legal area. This makes almost impossible to recover your losses through legal ways. Once you make the payment as an importer you cannot get back to your money against a fraudulent exporter. On the other hand if you trust your buyer and make the shipment without having paid your chances of recovering your payment is very limited against a fraudulent importer. As a result you need to learn and practice well payment methods either you are an importer or an exporter. 
  • Commercial Issues: You cannot seal the deal every transaction with simple payments such as cash in advance or open account. You may have to use letters of credit or documentary collections as conditions dictates. The better you can use payment methods in international trade the more likely you can complete successful deals. 
  • Better Career Chances: Much of the sales stuff does not understand from complicated payment types especially sound usage of letters of credit is very rare. If you can learn and practice letters of credit you will be getting ahead of the competition for better job opportunities.