A service provided by banks to sellers in obtaining payments. This service is usually transacted by the seller's bank through the buyer's bank, with the latter presenting the shipping documents to the buyer in exchange for payment or for signing a promissory note like instrument called a time draft.
International transactions in which banks act on behalf of the importer and exporter to collect payment for a good. The exporter presents the appropriate documents to a bank in his/her country, which forwards them to a bank in the importer's country. This bank presents the documents to the importer and accepts payment, which it then forwards back to the first bank. The banks have no responsibility in a documentary collection except to fulfill instructions of the importer and exporter; that is, they make no guarantees of payment. See also: Documents against payment, Documents against acceptance.