JAPANESE SHIPPING firm NYK Line’s e-money platform MarCoPay has secured a license to fully operate in time for its launch early next year, which it said will benefit over 200,000 Filipino seafarers.

On Thursday, MarCoPay, an app established by NYK Line and its local partner Transnational Diversified Group (TDG), announced that it has obtained a license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate as an e-money issuer.

“Now certified by BSP to operate in the rapidly growing fintech space….MarCoPay is well on its way to meet its target launch date early next year,” MarCoPay said in a statement on Thursday, adding that there are 1.6 million seafarers in the world of which 220,000 are from the Philippines.

MarCoPay had its soft launch last August and is currently operating a beta version. Back in August, MarCoPay said 70% of NYK Line’s seafarers are Filipinos. MarCoPay stands for “Maritime Community Pay.”

The app uses a QR code-based system which will help seafarers remit money to their loved ones. This will also help vessel masters give salaries of seafarers through e-money.

MarCoPay President and CEO Toshiaki Fujioka said, “An estimated $800 million 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.” — GMC