Bulgaria - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2022-09-11

Methods of Payment

As with any international transaction around the world, the method of payment is determined by the degree of trust in the buyer’s ability and willingness to pay.  Full payment in advance is highly recommended for the first few transactions/deliveries, and while the importer is still unknown. All regularly utilized methods of payment are common in Bulgaria.

The current Standard & Poor’s credit rating for Bulgaria stands at BBB- with positive outlook. Moody’s credit rating for Bulgaria was last set at Baa2, with a stable outlook. Fitch’s credit rating for Bulgaria was last reported at BBB, with a stable outlook. In general, a credit rating is used by sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and other investors to gauge the credit worthiness of Bulgaria thus having a big impact on the country’s borrowing costs. 

Table: History of Bulgaria Credit Rating








Jan  2022




May 2020




Oct 2020

Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/bulgaria/rating

Entities like the U.S. EXIM Bank and the Development Finance Corporation  ave provided insurance policies and long-term guarantees to U.S. exporters to allow for more flexible payment terms.

Banking Systems

The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) regulates and supervises other banks’ activities, carries out research and compiles and analyzes statistical data. BNB is a member of the European System of Central Banks. BNB operates independently of the government and reports directly to Parliament. The Bulgarian currency is pegged to the euro; the fixed exchange rate is 1 EUR = 1.95583 BGN.

The World Bank indicates there are some 43.507 ATMs per 100,000 Bulgarians .

There are 25 commercial banks in Bulgaria; five are branches of foreign banks. Citibank and Bulgarian-American Credit Bank are the only U.S. banks with an office in Bulgaria.                                                                               

While credit cards and e-banking are popular, personal checks are largely unknown and unused. The number of POS terminals in the country and the share of the non-cash transactions grew significantly in the past few years.

Foreign Exchange Controls

There are generally no restrictions on payments or currency exchanges and international financial remittances for the payment of Bulgarian imports are generally allowed.  Only bank transfers permit the export of hard currency by commercial entities, including juridical persons and sole traders. Currency transfers for international payments, including the import of goods and services, transportation, interest and principal payments, insurance, training, medical treatment and other purposes defined in Bulgarian regulations, must be supported by documentation such as invoices, certificates, or transport documents, to the transferring bank.

U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks

Some Bulgarian banks may have 100 or more U.S. correspondent banks, and some U.S. banks may have correspondent relations with more than one Bulgarian bank. As banking relations can change quickly, the best source of current information on correspondent banking arrangements is the banks themselves. While Citibank offers corporate and investment banking services, it does not provide retail services.

Bulgarian Banks

Contact information for all Bulgarian banks may be found on the The Bulgarian National Bank and

Association of banks in Bulgaria

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

To access Bulgaria’s ICS section on financing, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement website.