DEFINITION of 'Forfaiting'

The purchasing of an exporter's receivables (the amount importers owe the exporter) at a discount by paying cash. The forfaiter, the purchaser of the receivables, becomes the entity to whom the importer is obliged to pay its debt.

BREAKING DOWN 'Forfaiting'

By purchasing these receivables - which are usually guaranteed by the importer's bank - the forfaiter frees the exporter from credit and from the risk of not receiving payment from the importer who purchased the goods on credit. While giving the exporter a cash payment, forfaiting allows the importer to buy goods for which it cannot immediately pay in full. The receivables, becoming a form of debt instrument that can be sold on the secondary market, are represented by bills of exchange or promissory notes, which are unconditional and easily transferred debt instruments.

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