Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries has included the development of blockchain letters of credit (L/Cs) in its strategic plans.

Earlier this year Reliance joined oil majors Chevron and Total to invest in the Vakt blockchain-based global commodities platform (DC World News, 1 February 2019) and the conglomerate has already participated in a blockchain enabled L/C transaction through a consortium led by HSBC.

Eliminating intermediaries

In its 2018-19 annual report Reliance says blockchain as a technology is currently being explored with the aim of entering into smart contracts with customers and vendors.

This envisages instant matching and settlement processing on blockchain connected platforms, with the benefit of eliminating intermediaries.

Reliance says it will develop a central blockchain platform integrated with electronic bills of lading.

Digital initiatives

As part of its process automation and enhanced decision making strategy outlined in its annual report, Reliance says it is looking at robotic process automation to enhance L/C and other trade finance transactions by automating repetitive processes such as e-way bills and order processing.

In the same strategy, Reliance is also looking at data science and predictive analytics to enhance its price forecasting, customer credit risk management and freight cost analysis.

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