Alfa-Bank has joined the Contour international network of trade finance, which interconnects trade companies and banks and ensures fast, reliable and transparent process of drafting, issuing and advising L/C. As a rule, the issuance of a letter of credit is a labor-intensive process involving a vast amount of paperwork and lasting for up to one week. Contour’s network reduces the processing time of LC issuance by up to 90% – from 10 days to 24 hours.

“The accession to the Contour platform and launch of the pilot projects on the Russian market will fine-tune the strategy of development of products for transborder transactions. Customer requests become more complex, and we are always seek to offer the best solutions,” Evgenia Fomina, head of the Alfa-Bank Lending Directorate, said.

“The significant interest in Contour’s development did not slow ahead of our launch in October. We worked with many interested parties keen to experience the benefits of streamlined processes, improved efficiency and an overall better ecosystem for trade finance to be conducted. Alfa Bank marks yet another step forward for Contour, being the first Russia-based bank on our network. Their involvement will continue to build an inclusive network that will improve trade across the globe,” Carl Wegner, CEO of Contour, said.

The Contour network is a digital eco-system of trusted parties, including applicants, issuing banks, nominated/confirming/advising banks, beneficiaries, and other participants in the L/C process. Contour was founded by major international banks, such as BNP Paribas, HSBC, ING, and Standard Chartered, and aimed to optimize the L/C process, to cut operating costs, and to expedite settlements.
Contour is based on the Corda blockchain platform of R3 Consortium, which Alfa-Bank joined in 2018. Contour allows bank customers to monitor the processing and modification of a trade finance transaction in the real-time mode by means of the blockchain technology.