What is Letter of Credit | Letter of Credit Definition

A Letter of Credit differs from a bank guarantee. An issuing or confirming bank's obligation is independent of, and unqualified by, the contract of sale under the transaction. A commercial credit is neither a performance bond, nor it is a guarantee of the quantity or quality of the goods shipped.
Letters of Credit and Bank Guarantee are Separate Transactions
A contract for sale of goods between the seller and the buyer incorporates mode of settlement. Letters of credit by their nature are separate from the sale contract, and banks are not concerned or bound by such sale contracts even if the credits bear reference to them. The credits stipulate documents which have to be tendered for payment and it, therefore, follows that in credits parties deal with documents and not with goods, services or performances to which the documents relate.

It is, therefore, in the interest of all the parties concerned that the conditions and terms of credit are complete and precise and barefit of excessive details.
Payment under a letter of credit does not depend on the performance obligation on the part of the exporter except those which the credit imposes. Banks accept documents under letters of credit for what those document purport to be on their face. Contract between the buyer and the seller is obligatory between themselves. The seller(beneficiary) cannot take advantage of any contractual terms in between the buyer and the opening bank and between the opening bank and the advising/confirming bank.