HSBC says it has completed the first integrated paperless letter of credit (L/C) and electronic documentary transaction for a steel export between the UAE and India.

The blockchain-enabled live trade finance transaction was arranged for the sale of flat carbon steel from India's Tata Steel to the UAE's Universal Tubes and Plastic Industries.

Transaction visibility

The end-to-end paperless transaction involved an integrated digitised letter of credit (L/C) and electronic bills of lading.

The deal was executed over the Contour blockchain platform, which provided all parties with visibility of the trade while also ensuring that no single organisation controlled all the data.

The platform therefore ensures that banks, importers, and exporters have improved visibility without compromising security.

Contour membership

HSBC is a founding shareholder in Contour and was the first bank to join the platform as a full production member in December 2020.

The bank is also a shareholder in Contour, alongside ING, Citi, Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, SEB and CTBC.

Blockchain benefits

Transportation of goods between the UAE and India takes a relatively short time due to their proximity, but the administrative paperwork can often obstruct delivery.

The reduced transaction time enabled by blockchain is expected to shorten order lead times and should boost the efficiency of bilateral trade between the two countries, which is valued at around US$60 billion.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.