Foreign trade is crucial for the economies of all countries, particularly in terms of international integration. It helps meet the demand for domestically produced goods and services that are insufficient, while also providing the needed commodities and services from other countries. Additionally, foreign trade aids in addressing deficiencies and flaws in the domestic economy.
International payment has been established to support the growth of foreign trade. It plays a crucial role in the overall process and successful completion of commercial activities. The correct implementation of international payment is essential for the proper development of both exporting and importing, as well as foreign trade in general. In addition to preserving foreign trade, international payment also facilitates and accelerates its progress.
The most prevalent method of international payment is Documentary Credits (D/C) due to its advantages. However, the process may vary in different bank systems. In this report, I will outline the steps of implementing the Documentary Credits in Vietcombank- Long An branch based on my internship experience. The report is divided into 5 parts.
- Part 1: Introduction of Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) and Vietcombank- Long an branch
- Part 2: Given tasks during the internship in Vietcombank- Long an branch
- Part 3: Steps of implementing the Documentary Credits (D/C) in Vietcombank and some notes from the real process drawn out
- Part 4: Experience after the internship in Vietcombank- Long an branch
- Part 5: Recommendations for Vietcombank- Long an branch II. Content:
Vietcombank, the leading bank in prosperous Vietnam, has the motto “Always for customers’ success”. It is the oldest commercial bank for external affairs in Vietnam and is renowned for trade finance, international payment, foreign exchange, guarantee, and other banking and financial services, including credit cards such as Visa and Master Card. On April 1st, 1963, Vietcombank was established under Decision 115/CP dated October 30th, 1962, through a separation from the Foreign Exchange Management Department of the Central Bank, which is now known as the State Bank.
Vietcombank, under the direct management of the State Bank, operates as the sole bank for handling external economic affairs and export-import lending nationwide. It is recognized as a leading Vietnamese commercial bank for its integration of advanced technology, implementing computerization across its network. Additionally, Vietcombank serves as an agent for VISA card payments on behalf of BFCE Singapore.
With a paid-up capital of 3,955 billion Vietnam Dongs, Vietcombank is a special state-owned corporation organized under the “90, 91 Corporation” structure. It serves as an interbank forex payment center for over 100 domestic banks and foreign banks’ branches operating in Vietnam. Additionally, it is the first commercial bank in Viet Nam to handle foreign currencies and consistently holds the largest market share in the interbank forex market. Vietcombank’s customer base consists of three categories: individuals, corporations, and financial institutions.
With the motto “Always for customers’ success”, the bank aims to remain a top commercial bank in Vietnam and expand to become an international bank in the region within the next ten years.
Overview of Vietcombank
Long an branch:
Vietcombank opened its first branch in Long An Province on October 10, 2005, marking a total of 64 branches nationwide. The Vietcombank – Long An Branch is situated at 134-136-138 Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Ben Luc District, Long An Province. The branch offers accounting services and payment and business services.
The Customer Department, Treasury Department, Inspectors Division, and Personnel Department will all operate within Vietcombank- Long an branch. There are four Transaction Offices, including Tan An City, Duc Hoa, Can Giuoc, and Can Duoc. The Director Board oversees the branch’s operations.
In its initial phase, Vietcombank- Long an branch will utilize its existing advantages in import-export payments and expedite investments in projects within Long an Province’s Industrial Parks. Additionally, it will provide credit to a diverse range of customers, including FDI enterprises, joint-venture companies, mediocre and small companies, as well as individuals.
In addition to these primary activities, Vietcombank- Longbranch will also prioritize services including salary payments, issuing and conducting card transactions, foreign exchange services, savings accounts, and deposit mobilization…
Part 2: Responsibilities assigned during the internship at Vietcombank- Long an branch:
In Vietcombank- Long an branch, the process of implementing Documentary Credits is learned through reading guidance, receiving training from an instructor, and observing the instructor’s categorization and practice of Documentary Credits. The real process is recorded and compared with the guidance in order to create a report. Materials are also copied during this process.
Part 3: Implementation steps of Documentary Credits (D/C) in Vietcombank- Long an branch and variations from the theoretical process described in step 1.
Steps of practicing the Documentary Credits in Vietcombank- Long an branch: A. Advising L/C or rectifying exporting L/C:
- Receiving, sending the arrival of L/C and origin L/C to customers or rectifying origin L/C
- Recording copies of L/C, rectifying L/C and the informing letter of L/C, advising to rectifying L/C B. Receiving the documents for exporting L/C:
- Receiving the request to pay based on the established documents; the necessary papers consist of:
- The letter requesting payment
- Origin L/C
- The letter confirming L/C with the right signature
- Corrections for origin L/C (if present) The letter rectifying L/C with the right signature (if present)
- The documents (consisting of the origin one for sending and the copied one for recording)
- Scanning the documents: Comparing the documents with the content of L/C or the corrections of L/C with the letter requesting payment:
- Expiring date of L/C/ validation of presenting the documents (in case of expiring, it is necessary to inform customers)
- Types of receipt
- Number of each type of receipt
- The amount on the invoice
- Clearly putting date, time to receive the documents on the letter requesting payment of customers. Putting up the detailed list.
- Sending fax/ scan of the list and all papers of the documents to the head-quarters.
- While awaiting the result from the headquarters, it needs to check the compatibility of the documents:
- For the compatible documents: using express delivery to send the entire list and the documents to the headquarters
- For the incompatible documents: suggesting corrections or substitute documents from customers
- Having the express delivery to send the entire list and all documents to the headquarters.
- Copying and recording the entire documents.
- C. Payment for the exporting documents:
- After receiving the credit informing, passing to customers.
- Recording the list and the copy of credit informing.
Upon receiving a request to discount exporting documents, Vietcombank- Long an branch will first check the discount limit. If the customers have a valid discount limit, the bank will grant the discount under its authority. Additionally, the branch will scan the attached documents for the discount application and fax or scan the transaction receipt to the headquarters. The bank will also establish an informing process for the sponsor trade transaction. If there are any defects in the documents, the bank will take responsibility for its decision. Finally, the branch will establish a list and inform the sponsor trade, submit the application to request a discount, include any present documents, and send all of this to the headquarters.
Recording the transaction receipt: receiving the request to issue/rectify importing L/C and the request to issue/rectify L/C from customers.
The application includes:
The letter is to issue or rectify an L/C. A copy of the trade contract or any document of equal value to the contract is required.
In order to open an L/C for the first time, an export-import company must provide a copy of their business certificate and business code. Additionally, they need to obtain authorization from the Trade Ministry or Professional Control Department for exporting items with specific conditions. The L/C issuance or rectification process involves verifying the quantities, content, and compliance of the application.
The letter to open or rectify L/C requires the signature of either the account owners or the chief accountants. Any changes made to the letter must be signed by the account owners or an authorized representative. Bank clerks are not permitted to make any amendments or additions in favor of the individual opening the L/C.
Signing and clearly dating and timing the receipt of the request application to open or rectify the letter of credit.
Checking the limit for issuing a Letter of Credit (L/C) is to ensure that customers who do not have a limit will be granted one by Vietcombank. Vietcombank has the authority to grant credit and will establish the necessary information to sponsor trade transactions.
Faxing/scanning and sending the list, informing and applying to open/rectify.
Recording the transaction documents and transferring the documents of importing L/C to the headquarters.
Upon receipt of the fax/scan of the documents, the bank notifies its customers regarding the “outside” details of the documents. This includes recording the list of documents, making copies, and ensuring the collection of freights based on the Letter of Credit (L/C). The bank also receives and processes applications from customers for issuing the guarantee of collecting freights.
Ensuring that the application of guarantee is checked and compared to the copy of invoice, bill of lading and other conditions specified on the L.C. Furthermore, clearly indicating the time of collection.
Creating a comprehensive inventory of records
Faxing or scanning the application and accompanying documents to the headquarters. Recording a copy of the guarantee and authorized document, if provided. The following are some observations made during the actual process:
The small branches or provincial branches do not have the right to establish L/C. However, all necessary information for the process will be sent to the headquarters. If importers in Long an province request Vietcombank- Long an branch to open L/C on their behalf, their documents, papers, and applications will first be examined by the bank clerks in the Long an branch. After this examination, the documents will be sent to the headquarters where the establishment of the L/C will take place. Once the L/C is made, it is sent to issuing banks for verification and any necessary suggestions for rectification.
Export-import companies can send the L/C to their banks for assistance in checking and recommending amendments if they are not sure about the legitimacy of the documents they have prepared. This is because banks rarely issue L/Cs, as most export-import companies have their own international payment department that handles the creation of documents, L/Cs, and other necessary paperwork. The process taught in textbooks or theoretically is usually a nine-step process, but in practice, it is different.
Many small or new companies that do not have a separate international payment department will require assistance from their banks to open and release a letter of credit (L/C).
Part 4: Experience after the Internship in Vietcombank Long an Branch
After completing my internship at Vietcombank- Long an branch, I now have a better understanding of the actual process of Documentary Credits. During this experience, I also discovered the reasons behind the discrepancies between the real process and the theoretical one mentioned in sub-section b of Part 3.
The internship at Vietcombank- Long an branch was a valuable learning experience that enhanced my theoretical understanding and provided me with new knowledge. It also allowed me to immerse myself in a professional banking environment, developing skills in communication and collaborative teamwork. Moreover, I gained hands-on experience operating a photocopy machine during the internship.
The internship experience has been advantageous to me in multiple ways. In particular, it has provided me with the opportunity to join a real organization, which is essential for alleviating any sense of unfamiliarity or displacement. This will greatly aid me in seamlessly integrating and performing efficiently in my forthcoming role within the banking industry.
Part 5: Recommendations for Vietcombank- Long an branch
Vietcombank- Long an branch is focused on improving and expanding their D/C service, along with other services. They aim to achieve this by offering a variety of remittance services through phone banking, mobile banking, internet banking, and more. The objective is to bring the bank’s operations closer to customers domestically and internationally.
Besides, Vietcombank- Long an branch should consider investing in the establishment of additional transaction offices in Long an Province. This will enable customers in isolated locations such as Tan Hung and Vinh Hung District to easily access the services of Vietcombank, as well as other services. Additionally, this will help save time and cost for these customers.
Expanding the advertising and marketing efforts of remittance operations for customers: The D/C operation of Vietcombank is highly esteemed by customers due to its long-standing reputation.
As the Finance Banking field continues to develop rapidly and Commercial joint stock banks fiercely compete, it is crucial for Vietcombank to establish a suitable and long-term customer strategy. Firstly, Vietcombank must enhance marketing efforts by directly showcasing the benefits of its products to customers. Specifically, Vietcombank should categorize customers based on various criteria such as geographic location, business profession, and company size. This will enable them to introduce products that are tailored to meet the specific needs and realities of their operations.
Vietcombank needs to provide careful instructions on the transaction process to first-time customers to ensure quick completion. Additionally, Vietcombank should offer preferential services fees to familiar customers with prestige in order to build a loyal customer base. To accomplish this, Vietcombank must have a well-trained staff.
Furthermore, Vietcombank also requires a stronger focus on promoting the bank’s image and brand name through various means of communication such as newspapers, radio, television, and the internet. This will enable a faster approach to customers.
In today’s world, it is essential for banks to incorporate modern technology and equipment in order to streamline processes, improve efficiency, save time and fees, and meet the demands of both employees and customers.
Vietcombank requires conducting tests and maintenance to ensure the stability and efficiency of its operations, prevent system failures, and maintain a smooth workflow. Additionally, Vietcombank aims to enhance its image through the utilization of information technology. In specific, the bank’s official website should focus on improving both its interface and content, while consistently updating information such as price lists, promotional programs, and new products.
Training and developing the human resource is essential.
The bank considers its highly professional human resource as its greatest competitive advantage. Therefore, the first element in the bank’s policies is the development of its human resource. This includes opening courses to train employees in transactions, updating them on new technological processes and regulations related to bank operations, and focusing on hiring employees who possess professionalism and a wealth of experience. The goal is to gradually specialize in D/C services and other services offered by the bank.
With almost 50 years of experience in the banking sector, Vietcombank has emerged as one of Vietnam’s top banks, particularly in international payments. Through continuous self-improvement and the incorporation of new professional knowledge, technology, and services, as well as the establishment of global connections with leading banks, Vietcombank Long An is consistently the preferred option for individuals working in the export-import industry in Long An Province.