Russia's Sberbank has announced that individual customers can now open an escrow account and obtain a letter of credit (L/C) via the Sberbank Online mobile app without going to the bank.

Customers do however need to have an escrow account agreement approved by the bank for an L/C to be generated automatically.

How it works

Sberbank says a text message featuring a direct link to opening a credit line via the app will be sent to a customer, who will then just need to specify the L/C value and approve the application with one click.

The bank will wire the funds from the L/C to the customer's escrow account after registering a co-investment agreement with the Rosreestr, the Russian state registration service.

Online benefits

Head of trade finance at Sberbank, Evgeny Kravchenko, says customers have already appreciated the convenience of opening escrow accounts and L/Cs remotely.

"The transaction takes place entirely online, saving time for customers," he concludes.

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