Singapore's DBS Bank has launched a new service that allows small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to apply for letters of credit (L/C) online in the space of five minutes.

The bank claims this is a first in Singapore, and that L/Cs applied for online will be issued within two business days.

Additional benefitsThe advantage for SMEs is that, wherever they are, they will be able to apply for L/Cs online.

Prior to the introduction of this online service, SMEs without an existing credit line for trade finance had to visit a bank branch to submit an ad-hoc L/C application and it could take up to a week to obtain an L/C.

SME focus

"SMEs can benefit from a faster turnaround in the application process, enabling them to provide payment confirmation to their suppliers more quickly and, as a result, improve their competitive advantage," according to group head of product management at DBS Bank, Lim Him Chuan.

This online L/C service is among several initiatives by DBS aimed at bringing greater convenience and value to SMEs through digital banking. SMEs can also apply remotely for DBS business accounts, loan products and bank guarantees.

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