Digital trade finance network Contour has partnered with Japanese ICT solutions business TIS INTEC to enable digital processing of letters of credit (L/Cs) in Japan.

The partnership will integrate Contour's network with TIS back-office systems in banks across Japan and is part of the Singapore-based fintech's wider strategy to make digital L/Cs available in key South East Asian markets.

L/C popularity

Many Japanese firms use L/Cs to facilitate exports of automobiles and other equipment, making L/Cs one of the most used payment methods in Japan for settling international transactions.

But the process of acquiring L/Cs is often characterised by large volumes of paper-based documentation generating high administrative costs, inefficiencies, and barriers to financing.

Contour's decentralised network aims to overcome these challenges.

Digital advantages

By digitising L/Cs, Contour's platform reduces the paperwork involved in trade transactions, significantly shortening the settlement time of trade documents.

By integrating legacy back-office systems with Contour's digital network, trading counterparties should soon be able to benefit from heightened connectivity and more streamlined communications.

Regional rollout

The announcement of a partnership with TIS in Japan marks another addition to Contour's growing number of similar integration partners in South East Asia.

Contour has already partnered with Tinvhan Technologies in Vietnam and MFEC in Thailand to make digital L/Cs available in those countries.

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