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Financing Commercial Trade: The Search for Liquidity

  • ID: 5022628
  • Report
  • May 2020
  • Region: United States
  • 16 Pages
  • Mercator Advisory Group
Provides Insights Into the Trade Finance Landscape in Real Time as the World Reacts to a Global Pandemic


  • BTC Relay
  • Federal Reserve
  • Infor Nexus
  • Orbian
  • SME Finance Forum

Various forms of trade finance have always been available to create liquidity in both domestic and international trade in goods and services. Financial professionals have increased their knowledge of the benefits associated with the increasing number of tools available in the space, including supply chain finance in managing working capital. Technology companies, in partnership with financial institutions, are also at the vanguard of testing and rolling out blockchain networks to provide safer and faster supply chain management. Small businesses also seek alternative forms of finance to manage cash flow and grow their businesses. Accessing and utilizing all of these tools have become even more important as we now face a global pandemic with expectations for recessionary aftershocks. This research report provides the latest views of the trade finance market, including expected reverberations of the COVID-19 pandemic and expectations going forward.

This research report, Financing Commercial Trade: The Search for Liquidity, provides a direct view of the latest trends in technology and tools in the trade finance space. Traditional trade finance remains a primary method for managing risk and creating liquidity, especially for international commercial merchandise exports and imports. There are now more methods than ever before to access liquidity and promote both domestic and international flows of goods and services.

“One of the interesting things we discovered during discussions with industry participants has been a marked uptick in the recognition of working capital management effectiveness, particularly as the coronavirus sledgehammer policies hit businesses,” commented Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service, author of the report, “so expectations for the adoption of these and other digital solutions have greatly increased.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • Discussion of the potential impact of COVID-19 on the economy and trade finance landscape.
  • Breakdowns on various forms of liquidity being used for commercial trade, including traditional methods, open accounts, and alternative financing.
  • Analysis of the nascent but growing commercialization of blockchain technology networks and their role in trade services.
  • Review of the impact on smaller businesses and how they are approaching the search for liquidity.
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  • BTC Relay
  • Federal Reserve
  • Infor Nexus
  • Orbian
  • SME Finance Forum

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction

3. COVID-19 Impact

  • Global Trade
  • The View on the Ground

4. Financing Commercial Trade

  • Traditional Trade
  • Blockchain
  • Supply Chain Finance (SCF)
  • Alternative Lending
  • Commercial Cards

5. Conclusions and Recommendations

6. References

  • Related Research
  • Endnotes

Figures and Tables

Figure 1: Profound expected impact of COVID-19 on merchandise trade exports
Figure 2: 2020 world trade exports remain substantial even after accounting for the pandemic impact.
Figure 3: Documented interoperability between individual blockchain technologies or interoperability solutions.
Figure 4: Reverse factoring is the most commonly implemented SCF technique.
Figure 5: About one-quarter of U.S. small businesses have a loan with an alternative lender.
Figure 6: Working capital benefit from virtual cards.
Table 1: Payment transactions continue trending up as traditional trade messages decline.

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