Smart Business Finance Logo small

Trade Finance

Trade internationally with ease with trade finance

We’ll connect you to flexible trade finance solutions. Ease the process of trading internationally. Get started now!

Large ship carrying containers using trade finance

What is trade finance?

Trade finance primarily involves fulfilling confirmed purchase orders by providing the necessary funding to purchase inventory or stock.

This financial tool ensures that businesses can fulfil customer orders quickly by covering the costs of goods, allowing shipments to proceed without waiting for customer payments.

It’s a term that encompasses different financial products and services tailored for international trade, including import and export finance, supply chain finance, and invoice factoring.

How does trade finance work?

Trade finance is like a financial bridge that helps smooth out the bumps in international trade. When a business wants to buy goods from another country but needs money to do it, trade finance steps in.

Here is how it works:


Confirmed Orders

Trade Finance often starts with a confirmed purchase order from a customer, indicating the need for specific goods.


Funding request

The business seeks financial assistance to purchase the required inventory to fulfil the order. This could involve approaching lenders or financial institutions for support.


Financial Instrument

A financial instrument, such as a letter of credit or loan, is utilised. This instrument assures the supplier that they’ll receive payment once the terms of the agreement are met.


Goods Procurement

With the financial assistance secured, the business purchases the necessary goods from the supplier.


Shipment and delivery

The goods are shipped to the business or directly to the customer, depending on the terms of the purchase agreement.


Repayment and settlement

Once the goods are delivered and the customer pays, the business uses that income to repay the financing obtained through trade finance, completing the transaction cycle.

Who is trade finance for?

Trade finance is primarily designed for businesses engaged in international trade, including importers, exporters, manufacturers, and distributors. It’s built for companies of varying sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. Essentially, anyone involved in buying, selling, or transporting goods across international markets can benefit from trade finance.

Young trade finance customer smiling at the camera

Why Choose Us?

Fast & Flexible

Expertise & Experience

Tailored Solutions

What are the benefits of trade finance?

Trade finance offers several advantages to businesses involved in international trade:

Risk Mitigation

Trade finance tools help mitigate various risks associated with international trade. These tools provide a level of assurance and security for both buyers and sellers involved in the transaction.

Expansion of trade opportunities

By providing financial support and reducing risks, trade finance allows businesses to explore new markets. This encourages growth and expansion.

Improved cash flow

Trade finance allows businesses to access funds to fulfil orders or purchase inventory without depleting working capital.

Enhanced competitiveness

Access to trade finance allows businesses to offer more favourable payment terms to buyers, which can attract more customers and enhance their competitiveness in the global market.

How much does trade finance cost?

The cost of trade finance can vary significantly based on several factors. Some common costs associated with trade finance include:

  • Interest fees
  • Fees
  • Exchange rate fluctuations
  • Risk premiums


Common types of trade finance include letters of credit, trade credit insurance, exporting/import financing, documentary collections, and supply chain finance.
Trade finance helps businesses by mitigating risks, improving cash flow, funding for inventory or orders, and expanding trade opportunities.
Trade finance helps by mitigating risks related to non-payments, currency fluctuations, and shipment delays in international trade transactions.
Yes, trade finance can support businesses of various shapes and sizes.

“Jonathan from Smart business Finance is always there to offer advice and to point us in the right direction to any questions we have and to tell us of the best deals for finance for our company. We have no problem in saying we as a company would use these people at any time“.

Ged Flinders

East Coast Logistics Ltd


‘We have dealt with the Team at Smart Business Finance for over 3 years. They introduced me to my finance partner and have since helped to source a credit protection policy for me. Jonathan has gone above and beyond for me through our business transitional period.

Jay Kahn

Higher Healthcare


“Extremely helpful and friendly; they found the best service that suited my business needs. Always checked in to see that I was happy with the services after. Their dedication to ensuring my satisfaction and the exceptional level of service they provided truly exceeded my expectations.”

Asfana Ali

Prioritising People


More from our blog