BB&T Corp., joining the growing number of regional banks upgrading trade finance services, is offering software to help businesses obtain import letters of credit faster and monitor payments.

Windows-based Trade Access was developed with Micro Banking Automation Inc., headquartered in Atlanta and Richmond, Va.

The software "will help high-volume companies streamline their importing efforts and give smaller organizations an opportunity to compete more effectively on a global level," said Kevin Reilly, marketing manager at the bank's trade finance unit, BB&T International Trade Services.

The program allows letter-of-credit applications to be initiated in minutes, he said, and enables customers to receive same-day electronic confirmation of issuance and detailed on-line transaction history.

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