Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni), NYK Line, and Transnational Diversified Group (TDG) have agreed on Marubeni’s acquisition of a stake in MarCoPay Inc., an electronic money platform business founded by NYK Line and TDG.
Nowadays, on oceangoing vessels around the world, approximately 80 billion yen (700 million USD) is speculated to be kept as cash on board because salary payments to crew members have traditionally occurred in cash. However, cash on board vessels leads to additional workloads and costs, such as fees to transport cash to the vessels and remittance fees when seafarers send the received cash to their families. Moreover, seafarers spend long periods of time on vessels in a specialized working environment, so the need for health management support and convenient online services between sea and land has existed. Also, in countries such as the Philippines, where most crew members call home, seafarers are often not fully accorded the best credit conditions when applying for loans and can have difficulty obtaining proper insurance services that suit their labor environment and lifestyle. This is said to be due to the term contracts of the seafarers, even though they generally earn much more than average in their home countries. Thus, cost reduction for cash handling by vessels and improvement of the working and living environment of seafarers have been issues within the shipping industry for some time.
MarCoPay Inc. has developed an electronic money platform named “MarCoPay” that has been designed to enable digital salary receipt, remittances, cash withdrawals, loan applications, and insurance and investment product purchases through a smartphone application. MarCoPay minimizes cash handling costs and accounting workloads and reduces the risk of theft or loss of money on board by implementing cashless salary payments through the use of the smartphone application. Moreover, the service will allow crew members at sea to remit money to their home countries even during unstable internet connections at sea. Further, MarCoPay Inc. has started a loan service for Philippine seafarers.
MarCoPay’s service menu to seafarers and their families will expand through this collaboration with Marubeni-related businesses, such as those in finance, medical services, and telecommunications fields, among others. Marubeni, together with NYK Line and TDG, aims to widely disseminate the MarCoPay platform and further enhance the convenience of it.
All three stakeholders — Marubeni, NYK Line, and TDG — seek to provide high value-added service through the MarCoPay business and contribute to the improvement of the working and living environment of seafarers and their families by establishing and developing an economic network of seafarers.