BSP approves seafarer e-money platform

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    THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has approved the fintech platform MarCoPay allowing it to operate as Electronic Money Issuer.

    MarCoPay was first announced in July 2019 when Transnational Diversified Group (TDG) and Japanese shipping firm NYK Line announced a technical partnership to develop the app. It will utilize QR codes that vessel masters and seafarers will use to manage, receive, spend and remit their salaries in the form of e-money.

    The BSP’s certification to operate in the rapidly growing fintech space—expected to reach $309.98B by 2020, according to The Business Research Company—MarCoPay is well on its way to meet its target launch date early next year.

    “This is not just an accomplishment for us, but also for the hundreds of thousands of seafarers in the world who are braving the seas to give their loved ones a better life,” MarCoPay COO Areson Cuevas said.

    The platform taps into a huge market of over 1.6 million seafarers in the world. Some 220,000 of them are Filipinos.

    “An estimated $800M of cash is present on all ships at any given time, which is prone to maritime dangers such as piracy, fraud, and theft. With MarCoPay helping vessel masters manage their money digitally, it will be much easier and safer for seafarers and vessel masters to handle their hard-earned salaries,” Toshiaki Fujioka, MarCoPay President and CEO said.

    MarCoPay will introduce value-added features for seafarers to make the most out of the platform, whether on sea or on land.