With the holidays upon us, seafarers, including Overseas Filipino Workers, would again try to find ways to send money and goods to their loved ones back home on time.
Luckily, an app that would soon enable them to make financial transactions at sea has obtained a license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), allowing it to operate as an Electronic Money Issuer.
In July 2019, Philippine-owned business group Transnational Diversified Group (TDG) and Japanese shipping firm NYK Line announced the development of new fintech platform MarCoPay. The app will utilize QR codes that vessel masters and seafarers could use to manage, receive, spend and remit their salaries in the form of e-money.
Now certified by BSP to operate in the rapidly growing fintech space — expected to reach USD 309.98 billion 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,” said MarCoPay COO Areson Cuevas.
The platform will be tapping into a huge market. There are currently over 1.6 million seafarers in the world and 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,” said MarCoPay President and CEO Toshiaki Fujioka.
Moving forward, MarCoPay intends to introduce value-added features for seafarers to make the most out of the platform, whether on sea or on land.