Trade Finance is the movement of assets, transactions, or investments overseas into other markets. To ensure the safety of a purchaser or seller trade finance, banks often provide a needed service to make the transactions as meaningful and as safe as possible.
Many transactions among a buyer and a seller result in a prepayment or purchase on credit. This, of course, depends on the terms of the sale. These activities are often more risky for a buyer (importer) or a seller (exporter) because of the international arena in which they operate.
Finance methods often include a bank in transactions to reduce the risk. For example, if a buyer purchases goods on credit, then the seller may want to reduce its overall risk in the receipt of payment by using a trade finance bank. The bank would take part in the transaction by putting up a contract. Whereas, the bank will pay the seller and leave the buyer to pay the bank for the transaction of the goods. If a prepayment occurs, banks can assist in the documentation of the goods to be shipped. This ensures that the buyer is actually purchasing the goods it has paid for.