A unit of Thailand's majority state-owned oil and gas company, PTT, claims to have become the first Asean firm to use artificial intelligence (AI) in letter of credit (L/C) processing.

Over the past six months, PTT Polymer Marketing (PTTPM) has adopted IBM's Watson, an AI tool, and now says it has substantially improved its L/C and export sales document verification system.

Legacy system

Until recently PTTPM employed verifiers with at least five years of experience to check L/C documents. Employees with fewer than five years experience would not spot sufficient errors, and those errors would cause longer or repeated reviews, which would delay product delivery according to the company.

Even experienced verifiers spent at least 30 minutes checking each L/C and up to three hours working on more complex transactions.

New system

After testing its new AI-based system, PTT claims L/C processing speeds have picked up substantially.

After extensive tests, the company reckons AI can verify one L/C per second. The consequence of this is that processing time for trade documents has reduced from seven days to just two days per transaction.

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