Poland - Commercial Guide
Methods of Payment

Discusses the most common methods of payment, such as open account, letter of credit, cash in advance, documentary collections, factoring, etc. Includes credit-rating and collection agencies in this country. Includes primary credit or charge cards used in this country.

Last published date: 2019-10-13
Import financing procedures in Poland take place under seller-buyer terms.  Popular payment mechanisms include payment against documents and electronic funds transfers.  The safest method of receiving payment for a U.S. export sale is through an irrevocable letter of credit (L/C).  However, since most banks in Poland require the importer to deposit funds prior to issuance of a L/C, few buyers and sellers use this method due to its cost.  The most popular payment mechanism is electronic funds transfer (SWIFT or wire transfers) as it is the fastest and cheapest way to transfer funds.  Cash payment or down payments provide an extra measure of security for export sales.  Leasing is a popular method of financing vehicles, heavy equipment, and other capital-intensive items.  Both private and public insurance is available in Poland. 
 
The following rating agencies maintain offices in Poland:  Fitch Polska S.A.; EuroRating Sp. z o.o.; INC Rating Sp.z o.o.; SPMW Rating Sp. Z o.o.; Moody’s Investors Service Limited, Polish Branch; Standard & Poor, Representative Office.  The first three agencies appear on the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)list of registered and certified credit rating agencies. Until late 2018 there were four such agencies, however, SPMW Rating Sp. Z o.o . de-registered in October 2018. 
 
There are dozens of collection agencies in Poland. The major ones are listed in the Warsaw Business Journal's Book of Lists. 
 
Payment cards are commonly used with debit cards constituting the majority.  Both ATMs and commercial entities accept popular credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Diner's Club and American Express) and payment cards (VISA Electron and Maestro). Poland is one of the strongest markets in Europe in mobile-payment technologies and leads in the number of contactless transactions.  Some 90% of all cards issued in Poland are contactless enabled.    
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at www.Export.gov/TradeFinanceGuide.