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Wärtsilä and SEB to digitise the export letter of credit process

The letters of credit used in import and export trade are still arranged slowly using paper documents. Finnish technology group Wärtsilä and its partners have tried out a new digital letter of credit process using Sitra’s fair data economy IHAN testbed.


Kirsi Suomalainen

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


Letters of credit (LCs), used in the import and export trade, are a long-standing term of payment, providing security for the buyer and the seller. The current analogue process is done by hand, is slow and is error prone.

Under the new project, a large part of the letter of credit process based on paper documents and PDF files was digitised by data productisation. This shortens the time required for processing, reduces error sensitivity and improves security.

The project by Wärtsilä and leading Nordic bank SEB was implemented in close collaboration with Digital Living and Nixu, using the IHAN testbed provided by Sitra’s fair data economy initiative.

“The digitisation of the Export Letter of Credit process is an impressive example of the possibilities provided also for major global corporations by the fair data economy testbeds” says Juhani Luoma-Kyyny, Senior Lead at Sitra’s fair data economy IHAN project. “Data productisation and transparent, real-time sharing of data between different parties offers companies opportunities to boost their current processes and reduce risks and also to create new kind of value together with the partners.”

Watch the video Paperless trade finance on a data sharing nexus:

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Sitra’s IHAN project builds shared rules and tools for more responsible and sustainable digital services that are based on trust and create value for everyone.

Read more from press releases by Wärtsilä, SEB, and Digital Living.

The video link was updated to the article on 9 April 2021.

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