StanChart transmits Bangladesh’s first ever end-to-end digital cross-border LC
Standard Chartered Bangladesh has recently completed the transmission of the country's first ever fully paperless and digital cross-border letter of credit (LC).
The first client to complete a fully paperless application for LC issuance is Heidelberg Cement Bangladesh Ltd, the bank said in a statement today.
The transaction was made possible by a recent amendment to the country's import policy order, advocated for by Standard Chartered.
As per the new order, which was published on April 24 this year by the commerce ministry, clients can now apply for an LC online using their bank's online portal.
There is no requirement to submit a signed physical copy of the LC application. This change will facilitate international trade for the country by making the LC application process simpler, faster, and more efficient.
"Digitising trade is a critical lever to accelerate economic development and improve productivity," said Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO of Standard Chartered Bangladesh.
"We would like to thank the Ministry of Commerce, the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, Bangladesh Bank, and everyone involved with the Import Policy Order for this timely revision."
The revised policy that now allows online LC application, is a milestone in the digital trade journey of Bangladesh, he said.
"Digital LC application will increase operational efficiency for our clients, and we had previously placed requests to the Ministry for this revision. We are very grateful that they have granted our request through this amendment. Our clients can now fully benefit from all the features of our online banking platform, Straight2Bank and Digital Trade Counter."
"We were informed by Standard Chartered about the recent change in the Import Policy Order, which now allows clients to apply for Letters of Credit issuance online," said Jashim Uddin Chowdhury, chief financial officer of Heidelberg Cement Bangladesh Ltd.
"We welcomed this change, as it would reduce the time taken for forwarding an application to the Bank and would also reduce the dependency of our signatories being available at the office to physically sign the application."
"We were excited to apply for issuance of a Letter of Credit on Standard Chartered' s online portal, Straight2Bank. The interface is very user friendly and easy to use. We were able to upload the needed documents and apply within minutes. There was no requirement to send any physical documents to the Bank," he said.
"In addition, thanks to Standard Chartered' s Digital Trade Counter, we could also track the transaction flow end to end on real time basis, which was also very helpful for us. This will certainly facilitate our daily work," Chowdhury said.
"We would like to thank the Ministry of Commerce, the Chief Controller of Import and Exports, Bangladesh Bank, and everyone associated with the introduction of this change for making our Import Policy aligned with the need of the times and making international trade simpler for all businesses in the country. We would also like to thank Standard Chartered for training our staff on digital LC application."