Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the marine, cargo and supply chain solutions provider, has teamed up with Brightwell Payments to introduce an innovative payment system for ship owners and managers to simplify cross-border crew payments, cut onboard cash and enhance crew and vessel safety.
The new payments platform, Brightwell Navigator, will significantly reduce overall cash onboard. Instead, ship owners and managers can send crew payments via bank transfer and/or loaded to an OceanPay MasterCard Prepaid Card to ensure a ‘cash free vessel’ and help safeguard crew against piracy and theft.
With commercial shipping, crew traditionally receive part or all of their wages in cash. Initially, the cash is transferred from the bank to the vessel by an agent, then administered by the master onboard, and then carried in port by crew to make purchases or transfer money back home to family. These cash transactions can not only be a security risk onboard and onshore, but are also very costly and require additional administration onboard by the master.
“As the industry leading provider of maritime payroll card solutions, we understand the importance of removing cash from vessels. With Brightwell Navigator, not only are we removing the onboard cash, but we are now providing ship owners with the convenience of sending crew payments directly to a bank and providing crew members with unparalleled personal financial conveniences,” said Kenneth M Goins, Jr, CEO of Brightwell Payments.
The new Brightwell Navigator solution empowers crew and significantly reduces the administration of accounts. Crew will be able to manage their own finances, account information, bank transfers and online purchases. Through Brightwell Navigator, crew will have access to less costly methods of money transfer to home accounts and their use of the OceanPay Prepaid Card provides savings over typical foreign exchange of cash.
The Brightwell Navigator will allow changes to be made in real-time, such as edits to beneficiary bank accounts, OceanPay Prepaid Card enrollment, and more. Traditionally, passing these details to onshore administrators can cause weeks of delays.
The new service can be used for exception pay. Ship owners can easily distribute funds to a crew member if additional financial support is required for medical bills or other emergencies, removing a reliance on manual transfer and delivery of cash to the master.
The system also removes time consuming administration and security concerns typically imposed on the ship’s master – leaving him free to focus on the primary task of managing vessel operations.
Another significant benefit of Brightwell Navigator is that it will confirm the registration of any recipient’s funds, ensuring full transparency on transactions for any international bank and making financial institutions’ AML and KYC requirements more manageable for owners and charterers alike.
Simon Peters, Head of Global Operations, ISS, said: “Our new collaboration with Brightwell Payments is a significant step towards ‘cash free vessels’ improving security for crew and empowering them to manage their own finances, accounts, bank transfers and online purchases. It will also play an important part in reducing HSSE concerns frequently linked to storing and handling cash in ports by port agents and further support our global customers.”