I have just been through my first attempt at importing.
My laser tube died and the local agent did not have stock despite saying that he will stock spares. So I got hold of the Chinese manufacturer and ordered the tube plus a few other spares. Now they will only ship when they get the money in their account.
Since FNB is my bank and they advertise how good they are I mistakenly think great. I submitted my documents online after numerous phone calls on what info is needed on the 8th August. They then finally agree on the 13th to pay and charge me then. Next day the 14th I send the payment documentation to the supplier who says fine as soon as he gets the payment is his account they will ship. Today the 16th I email him and ask about the shipment and he replies they haven't received the money yet. So onto the blower to FNB and they tell me the funds where transferred yesterday and it takes 2 days for payment. So now we wait with customers getting despondent with us.
What banks do you recommend to pay a supplier in China efficiently so there is not a week wasted with the FNB red tape. I am not to concerned about the interest lost as I have kept out of overdraft for over a year now and FNB don't give me interest on the positive balance. Also any tips on how to get payment there quickly, the supplier doesn't accept credit cards.