Later on, however, especially during the last three decades, the native banks did what they certainly would have preferred not to do, if they could have helped it; they themselves plunged directly into business. In order to understand how this situation was brought about, it is necessary to give in brief a detail of the modus operandi of native banking vis-a-vis foreign merchants and Chinese dealers. The usual method of doing business is for the Chinese dealer to come to arrangement with the foreign merchant as to the price, date and place of delivery, etc. When the transaction is complete and all other stages have been gone through up to the time of taking delivery of goods, what remains to be done is simply this; that the Chinese dealer pays the foreign merchant and takes delivery of the goods. It would suit foreign merchants admirably if the native dealer paid them by cash or cheque. But the latter never does it even when he can do so. He follows the old custom of keeping back the money during the interval that the goods are supposed to take to reach their destination and the monies are sent from there. As a matter of fact, the arrangements rarely take cognizance of this old convention. The only interest which the dealer has in postponing payment is the saving of interest for the number of days he is able to delay payment after taking delivery of the goods. At the same time, the foreign merchant is not willing to give him any credit for various reasons into which it is needless to go in detail at this stage. A compromise is arrived at as follows: The dealer takes delivery of the goods on payment of a native order to the foreign merchant - a native order being an order of a native bank. These orders have practically the same value as post-dated cheques; but there is a world of difference between a cheque and a native order. In the case of cheque an individual draws on a bank, i.e., gives an order to the bank to pay on his account a certain sum of money to a third party, from out of the sums which stands to his credit in the books of the bank. The bank has nothing to do with the trustworthiness or the validity of the cheque, and refuses payment if the drawer of the cheque has not a sufficient amount in credit with the bank to meet it. With a native order the case is different; when a dealer gives a native order in exchange for the goods he does not undertake to pay at all. The native bank agrees to pay a certain amount to the person that presents that piece of paper on a certain date. The merchant has no further relations with the dealer who presents the native order, and he has a perfect right to look to the bank and the bank alone for payment. No doubt, arrangements are made with the bank before it gives out the native order to the dealer; but that is no concern of the foreign merchant. In the olden times the moment a native order was received the foreign merchants simply let the Chinese dealer alone. When, however, during recent years the banks were unable to meet their own orders, the merchants thought it best to hold the donor of the order equally responsible with the bank.