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When should an exporter contact Zinum for service?

Initial setup contact should be made prior to using the service so we can review your specific needs and requirements. 

What do I have to do to get started with the system?

You must sign a “Combined Power of Attorney and Limitation of Liability” form prior to receiving service from Zinum.

In some cases, negotiating banks allow Zinum’s fee to be deducted automatically from the proceeds of the L/C payment. To do this, an “authorization to debit proceeds” form must be signed.

What makes Zinum different?

Zinum submits all documents to your bank via email. Other providers can prepare documents electronically, but negotiating banks must go to their websites to access and print them. You as beneficiary of the L/C must also go to the same website to view and print L/C documents that were submitted.  It takes a lot of time. Zinum maximizes efficiency by delivering documents to the necessary parties instead of having them retrieve the documents.

Zinum was established to take advantage of the technological advances that banks are making in the area of electronic advising. Most U.S. banks now offer an option for an L/C beneficiary to receive its L/Cs by email, or they allow the beneficiary to go into the bank’s website to download a copy of the L/C electronically in a word processing format.  Banks save money by doing this. They save on courier charges associated with physically sending the L/C to the beneficiary. They save on fax charges too. They also save on the attention and time required for a banker to send the L/C to the beneficiary.

But without Zinum, the beneficiary isn’t reaping the same benefits.  Upon downloading the L/C, it must be printed. The printed copy must be faxed to the freight forwarder or docprep provider for manual entry into their computer system. Manual entry is the main cause for most presentation discrepancies (typos).

Do I (or my banker) need to go to Zinum’s website to access and print documents? Sometimes I don’t have the time.

The Zinum system will send you an email that contains 1 set of copies of all the documents that were sent to the negotiating bank for payment. You don’t have to go to a website to access stored files. They come to you.

Bank personnel face the same time and productivity constraints that everyone else in business must deal with. Zinum emails the banker 1 set of negotiable documents and 1 set of copies for them to print.  Documents are formatted to print on a duplex printer without requiring additional effort to print the reverse pages of documents. This saves them time allowing them to examine your documents faster and in a happier state of mind. This is very important. The Zinum system makes it easy (almost fun) to print all the L/C documents. The document examiner at your bank will want to examine your Zinum documents before other documents that require tedious log-ins and multiple trips to the copy machine.  Your documents will go to the top of their pile.

I don’t have a duplex printer at my desk. Will the copies Zinum sends me print OK? I don’t know how to change my printer to perform special functions.

The Zinum system emails you copies of the documents formatted so that just the fronts print. Much like a fax copy (but much clearer). You can email the copies of documents to anyone that needs a copy. This will save you money on faxing and courier charges too.  You can instruct your buyers to eliminate that pesky clause on the L/C that states “One set of copies of documents must be sent to the buyer immediately after shipment via courier” or the other bothersome L/C clause “One set of documents must be faxed to the buyer’s insurance company immediately after shipment”.  With Zinum, the email copy of documents is sent to you at the same time documents are submitted to the bank. You can even instruct Zinum to email a copy of the completed documents directly to your buyer overseas.

How are the documents formatted? My company is watching its budget so we can’t afford to buy additional software.

Zinum documents are sent in PDF format. They can be opened using Adobe Acrobat version 5 or higher.

What about security?

Zinum provides a verified security key to the negotiating bank.  Documents emailed to the negotiating bank include a security seal that utilizes encrypted digital signature layers. The security seal is verified by a trusted third-party security provider to be genuine and secure.

Will I need a password to open the copies you send me?

No. But your email system should be able to accept encrypted digital signature layers.  If it isn't, Zinum must be advised otherwise you won't be able to read the email messages from Zinum.

How does Zinum speed payment of the presentation?

Two ways

  1. Zinum takes the electronic copy of the L/C and imports it into their database program. Manual entry is virtually eliminated. All documents are generated exactly the way the L/C stipulates. There is little room for human error.  Discrepancy-free documents are always paid faster.

  2. Zinum emails the documents to the bank formatted for easy printing. This reduces the time it takes bankers to assemble online documents before examination.

Does Zinum charge by the hour?

No. Zinum charges on a “per submission” basis, (i.e. per set of documents) regardless of how long it takes to process them.

How much money can I save? I currently pay almost $200.00 per L/C submission.

If you are paying that much per L/C submission, Zinum represents a savings of almost 50% depending on any out-of-pocket expenses associated with the transaction i.e.: courier fees, Chamber of Commerce Certification, etc...

What if I don’t know what shipped under the L/C? I handle the financial side of the transaction.

If your internal invoice goods description of what shipped doesn’t agree with the L/C description of goods and/or services, you must advise Zinum the name and contact information at your organization of someone that can accurately advise what items shipped under the L/C. Zinum must be advised what items on the L/C shipped to make accurate documents for submission. 

What if my bank doesn’t accept documents via email?

If your bank doesn’t accept documents via email Zinum will send completed documents to them via courier at your expense. If you expect an ongoing relationship with this bank, Zinum can contact them to explore the opportunities associated with owning a color duplex printer.

What if my bank doesn’t advise Letters of Credit electronically?

If your bank doesn’t have that capability, Zinum must physically receive the original L/C or a legible copy for processing. Otherwise the process is the same.

Can I instruct Zinum to submit documents to a bank other than the one that advised the Letter of Credit?

Yes as long as the negotiating bank receives the original L/C from the advising bank. Zinum values its neutrality. It doesn’t have affiliations with specific banks. Zinum will never submit documents to any bank other than the advising bank without written instruction from the beneficiary.

I’m not that familiar with L/Cs. Can Zinum help me review my letters of credit to make sure I won’t have problems when it comes time to submit?

Yes. We are always happy to review L/Cs and L/C applications before shipment takes place. This is a prudent approach on the part of the beneficiary. Zinum doesn’t charge for this assistance.

How does Zinum get paid for the service?

Zinum’s fee for service is deducted by the negotiating bank and remitted to Zinum at the time L/C payment is credited to your account.  If the negotiating bank cannot deduct the fee from proceeds, Zinum will bill you monthly.

Does Zinum offer any online reporting on the status of payment/document presentations on its website?

Zinum does not offer online reporting on its website. Zinum’s service is designed to complement the existing online functionality advising banks provide their customers. If you receive your L/Cs online, you can also go direct to the same bank website to check on the status of payment/document presentation. The practice of docprep providers offering online reporting requires document examiners at negotiating banks to log into the docprep provider’s website and re-enter information they previously entered into their own bank system. This results in lost time for the document examiner and an unnecessary duplication of effort.  In most cases, the beneficiary already logs on to the bank website to check on their other cash accounts.  It is more convenient to continue in that site, instead of logging on to another site for L/C transaction status.