International and export invoice finance is a short-term finance facility that allows businesses to sell their receivables to a factoring company, at a discounted price, in exchange for an advance on the value of their invoice.
In an increasingly connected and globalised world, millions of goods and services are traded across borders. However, exporters still expect to get paid before they ship their products, whilst importers still expect to pay their invoices once the goods arrive.
For businesses dealing with international trade, these disagreements can cause large cash flow disruptions. Exporters can find themselves waiting 60 or even 90 days to get paid after the goods have been shipped.
This million-pound discrepancy can be mitigated thanks to international invoice finance and, more specifically, international invoice discounting or factoring. These finance facilities help companies fund international trade in two distinct ways.
Firstly, international invoice finance can help UK companies with overseas subsidiaries fund any international invoices they may have. For example, if you have a recruitment agency in the UK with a subsidiary branch in the U.S, you can use international invoice finance to fund national or international invoices from that branch.
Secondly, invoice financing can help fund any international invoices within the UK. If you are a global recruitment agency working with international clients, you can use export invoice financing to fund outstanding invoices.
What is international factoring?
International factoring is the process of selling your international buyer’s outstanding invoices to a factoring company in your country. The outstanding receivables will be sold at a discounted price in exchange for a predetermined cash advance. This type of trade financing helps act as insurance for the exporter.
Instead of waiting weeks or even months to get the money you are owed, you can use international factoring to cover expenses and finance your business. International factoring is just like invoice factoring, but the buyer and seller find themselves in different countries.
International factoring is a type of asset-based finance that doesn’t typically require businesses to put up any hard assets as collateral. The factoring company will evaluate the credit history of your clients and decide whether to finance their unpaid invoices.
Once the financial reputation of the importer is cleared, the goods are shipped, and all the necessary documents are received, the factoring company will release the funds. The exporter can now use this cash to pay their employees, complete projects, or expand their business.
The factoring company will become responsible for collecting the payment. International factoring allows businesses to receive a majority of the cash they are owed up front, whilst the factoring company chases the unpaid invoices.