Treasury Management Internation Logo

Contour Drives Trade Growth for Bangladesh Businesses with Domestic Letters of Credit

Published 

Contour has launched its first domestic offering in Bangladesh – a trade finance network specifically designed to offer SMEs greater access to trade finance in the country.

As part of its commitment to improving social and economic inclusion, Contour’s purpose-built network will allow SMEs in Bangladesh to manage working capital more effectively by speeding up Letter of Credit (LC) processing times. Contour plans to onboard more than 50 corporates supported by Bangladeshi and international banks in the next six months. 

LCs are the one of the most popular trade payment methods in Bangladesh. Much of the country’s economic growth is driven by domestic trade, where usage of LCs enables companies to significantly reduce the risk of non-payment for delivered goods.

Despite this, the traditional paper-based processes and systems underpinning LCs are archaic and create significant barriers for SMEs seeking to grow their trade within Bangladesh, adding unnecessary complexity, cost, and delays.

Contour’s fully digital, end-to-end trade service connects SMEs, MNCs, financiers and partners seamlessly across the financial and physical supply chains. The new domestic Bangladesh network has been tested extensively and works effectively for local and international transactions, showing significant efficiency gains for both. It provides support for both local and foreign banks.

Bangladeshi corporates and banks are keen adopters of blockchain technology for LC transactions, and Contour has already made significant inroads having been the first to enter the market. Last year, Contour facilitated both the first blockchain LC in Bangladesh, and the first execution of an interbank blockchain LC transaction by a Bangladeshi bank. In addition, earlier this year, a local bank executed the first ever cross-border Islamic blockchain LC in Bangladesh on Contour.

Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour said: “Trade has the power to lift communities out of poverty, connect cultures and bridge economic gaps. Despite this, many small businesses in countries such as Bangladesh still find trade-fuelled growth out of reach because of the obstacles created by antiquated trade finance processes and limited access to trade finance itself. 

“Contour’s common decentralised network gives companies of every size more opportunities to do business, including new entrants who now have unrestricted access to global markets and finance for the first time. This is our first domestic LC offering, and we look forward to further accelerating banks and corporates with tailored propositions for individual countries in the future.”

Most recent episodes

Realising Treasury’s True Value – A Strategy for Change

Join John Meehan (Froneri) to hear how Froneri utilised a year of no acquisitions and no meetings to implement a total transformation project through implementation of a TMS, unlocking the true value of his corporate...

49:14

Lessons from Innospec on Building a Strong Cash Culture

Without ready access to the key metrics of cash forecasting, Andrew Hawes (Innospec) knew the business could do little more than react to events. But without the collaboration of key stakeholders too, he knew that...

35:08

How to Make Your TMS the Ultimate Investment Tool

The right TMS can be a huge asset to treasury. But these one-stop shops often fall short when it comes to short term investment workflows. In this podcast, Ed Lopez, James Griffin (Calastone), Jeannot Jonas (Carrier...

01:24:00

Best Strategies for Driving Cash Visibility: Advice You Can’t Google

What are the best strategies for facilitating cash visibility, and how can treasurers promote everlasting tech adoption within their departments? Serrala’s Nancy Zhang...

35:23

Innovations in Retail Payments

The fallout from the pandemic has radically accelerated changes in consumer behaviour on a global scale. The payments sector has had to quickly adapt in order to keep up with the emerging demands of both digital consumers and retail corporates, resulting in some...

36:40

The Future of ESG in Treasury

In this podcast, Melissa Moi, Peter Jameson and Venkat ES from Bank of America join TMI’s Eleanor Hill to determine where the ESG journey is heading next. Our expert panel consider how changing regulation, technology solutions and metrics including ESG KPIs...

26:50

HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight: Investing in the Future – from Diversity to Green Deposits

In the final instalment of HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight, Eleanor Hill (TMI) invites Nadine Lagarmitte and Suraj Kalati (HSBC) to consider how corporates’ attitudes to...

25:12

HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight: The ESG Landscape – what every treasurer needs to know

In the third edition of HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight Podcast series, TMI’s Eleanor Hill invites Farnam Bidgoli (HSBC) to provide an in-depth overview of the current ESG...

16:24

The Path to Transformational Global Cash Visibility

Davina Bradley (CEVA Logistics) and Conor Deegan (CashAnalytics) join TMI’s Eleanor Hill to explore how treasurers can transform their cash visibility and forecasting within their business in a matter of weeks using a...

33:16

HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight: Embedding ESG in Trade and Supply Chains

In the second podcast from HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight series, TMI’s Eleanor Hill speaks to Surath Sengupta (HSBC) about embedding ESG into trade and supply chains....

20:58