Documentary collection is a means of payment ensuring that the goods are only handed over to the buyer when the amount shown on a bill of exchange is paid or when the customer accepts the bill as a contract to pay by a specified date.
The exporter sends the bill of exchange and the shipping documents to his bank， which forwards them to a bank in the customer’s country. This bank， or the exporter’s agents in the country concerned， takes the documents to the customer. If it is a sight bill， the customer pays the amount directly. If it is a time bill， he signs the bill， which means he has “accepted” it for payment within a certain specified time. In return for either payment or acceptance of payment， the customer is handed the shipping documents which give title to the goods.