Enabling Smooth Payments for Seafarers During Times of Crisis
In the decades marked by normalised globalisation, this process was taken for granted. While the means of payment through physical cash may have been outdated, geopolitical and supply chain pressures were less of a concern.
However, the world has changed dramatically since then. Global conflict and supply chain disruption are now factored into the everyday activities of shipowners and other maritime stakeholders. Even ensuring something as seemingly trivial as timely payments to seafarers has become even more of a challenge as traditional financial institutions are placed under or have to abide by international sanctions.
As with all economic hurdles in the modern era, digitalisation is playing a leading role in providing solutions, for example, the introduction of integrated payroll payment services that put seafarers in charge of the data. Innovations have led to the emergence of digital money transfer systems, enabling seafarers to receive their wages and send money home even in the face of the worst global disruptions.
Challenges during crisis
The last few years have been marked by global upheavals, such as the outbreak of war in Europe or pandemic-related disruptions. The maritime sector has had to contend with trade bottlenecks, port closures, currency exchange difficulties, and restrictions on international transactions.
One of the big issues for seafarers has been the introduction of sanctions on certain national financial bodies, through which they would typically receive and make personal payments.
MarTrust by Marcura is one example of an integrated payroll payment service that caters specifically to the maritime industry. Because of Marcura’s expertise and knowledge in the shipping sector, MarTrust has been designed to support the particular needs and challenges faced by seafarers, shipowners, and shipping companies.
“What a shipping company is effectively receiving when they introduce this technology is a simplified way for them to conduct their business, and put the seafarer in charge of their funds” said Errikos Andreakos, MarTrust’s Chief Commercial Officer “Businesses can identify the pain points throughout their operations. This addresses the payroll payment, which is one of the most vital.”
The integrated payroll services combining maritime experience with multi-currency E-Wallet technology and pre-paid cards don’t just help the crew. They also help employers avoid some of the excess costs associated with having to deal with economic disarray.
Carrying large sums of physical cash at sea during uncertain times is also an immense risk. By utilising advanced financial technology and removing the need for physical cash transactions, these tools reduce those concerns.
These services enable seafarers to convert their wages into their desired currency and send money home effectively. In a world where exchange rates and inflationary pressures are fluctuating dramatically, having access to reliable currency conversion services is invaluable.
Compliance and tailored support
A transparent and auditable platform means that trust and confidence in financial transactions are maintained.
Integrated payroll service providers like MarTrust can offer a user-friendly experience to seafarers and collaborate with businesses to ensure MarTrust works well with their payment solution. Understanding the unique challenges they face means that services can be tailored to individual needs depending on the country and the specific employer/employee relations on board individual ships.
Not only does this allow payments to go ahead without delay but also maximises convenience, allowing them to focus on wellbeing at sea and other essential factors.
Beyond the individual
The benefits of the introduction of digital payment systems extend beyond convenience for seafarers and employers. It sets a precedent to implement fintech solutions to long-standing issues more generally. This makes the industry more attractive and future-proofs shipping from potential unforeseen external issues.
Innovation is necessary to keep any modern enterprise functioning. With pressures ranging from international decarbonisation efforts to safety to nearshoring, this new technology represents a giant step towards a digital future.
Source: Article By Mr. Errikos Andreakos, Chief Commerican Officer at MarTrust