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Documentary Collection

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Strong relationships lead to smooth transactions

Leave the follow-up to us

You can delegate transaction follow-up to ATB with documentary collections to simplify administration of your business.

Built on a strong foundation

The convenience and security of documentary collections can reduce your administrative workload. Since they do not guarantee payment, they should only be used with partners you trust.

How documentary collection can help

More control. Less complexity.

Enjoy greater control over when payments get made and received—and simplify administration by letting us handle the follow up.

Universal regulation

Documentary collections are subject to globally recognized rules, which lowers country risk for your business.

Improved cash flow

Whether you use them to export or import, documentary collections can boost cash flow for your business.

Frequently asked questions

They are a method of trade finance. An exporter’s financial institution sends documents to an importer’s institution. The exporter’s institution then collects payment for the shipped goods.

There are usually five steps to the documentary collection process:

  1. The exporter and importer agree to a purchase contract.
  2. The exporter delivers the goods and delivers documents to their financial institution.
  3. The exporter’s financial institution forwards the documents to the importer’s financial institution.
  4. The importer’s financial institution receives the documents and advises the importer that they will release the documents once the importer agrees to let the financial institution forward payment to the exporter’s financial institution.
  5. The exporter receives the payment or the accepted bill of exchange.

The biggest difference is that a letter of credit describes conditions for payment and is used ahead of a transaction, while a documentary collection is the movement of documents after a transaction to trigger payment.

Ready to get started?

Contact your ATB relationship manager to find out how our trade finance experts can help your business. 

New to ATB? Connect with us.

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Need help?

Our Business Support team will be happy to assist.