ShipMoney Rolls out Innovative Crew Payment Solutions Across Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement Fleet

Stuart Ostrow

Stuart Ostrow

President of Maritime
Payment Solutions - ShipMoney

Seafarers employed on Tsakos-owned vessels operated under its management arrangement with Columbia Shipmanagement will now be paid electronically as opposed to by ‘Cash-by-Master’, under an agreement signed with global maritime payments provider ShipMoney.

The deal means crewmembers will have complete control and access to their wages while onboard ship, including the timing and currency of remittances sent home. It will also dramatically reduce the need for large amounts of cash to be delivered to ships and eliminate the need for Tsakos to administer individual crew wire payments sent to home bank accounts.  

The latest contract with the Greece-based ship management company will see ShipMoney’s products being rolled out to its fleet of 90 vessels consisting of tanker, container and dry cargo ships, following a successful trial.

Welcoming the arrangement, Harry Katsipoulakis CFO of Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement said: “Our crew is the most important asset we have in our company. By introducing ShipMoney, we’ve been able to streamline the onboard crew payment process across the fleet by enhancing the safety in money transfer, reducing costs, saving time and providing a new benefit to our valued crewmembers and their families”

Stuart Ostrow, President of ShipMoney, said: “We are very excited to be working with Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement and to be able to introduce our electronic payment programme to its crew worldwide. One of the important benefits to the deal relates to foreign exchange, which is often a hidden cost for crew. The majority of today’s crew are contracted and paid in US Dollars and most employers remit individual US dollar wire payments to individual seafarer bank accounts.  If the seafarer’s home bank account is not denominated in Dollars, then the receiving bank has complete control over the conversion from US Dollars to the currency of the crew member’s account. 

“A 2017 World Bank study identified that banks are the most expensive option when converting currency with an average cost of approximately 11%. Mobile Money offered the least expensive option at less than 4%.  Over the life of a crew member’s career, this differential could be substantial.  ShipMoney is truly a win-win for both Tsakos and its crew members,” he added.

ShipMoney announces new appointments to its operations in Europe

Stuart Ostrow

Stuart Ostrow

President of Maritime
Payment Solutions - ShipMoney

Specialised global maritime payments provider ShipMoney is delighted to announce a series of high level appointments to its European operations team.

Roula Zachariou joins the ShipMoney team as Vice President of Business Development and Client Management. She brings with her over 20 years of local knowledge and relationships in the Greek and Cypriot maritime markets which will immediately boost ShipMoney’s ability to support clients locally as well as continue to develop and grow business in these important areas.

Joining Roula is Matthew Sankary who has been appointed Director of Account Management Europe, bringing with him an international, professional and strategic approach to the role having worked for the past few years at American Express. He was UK Client Manager at American Express working with more than 100 merchants before joining its E-commerce/multi-currency acquisition team.

Liliia Bakalova is also appointed as an Onboard Trainer and will be looking after the ShipMoney programme onboard clients’ ships, liaising with crew and management, focusing on training and offering face-to-face assistance with any problems crew members encounter when managing their own finances. Ms Bakalova has built up a wealth of knowledge of life-at-sea, working over the past eight years onboard ships including the luxury cruise liner SilverSea Cruises.

Welcoming the new appointments, Stuart Ostrow, President of Maritime Payment Solutions – ShipMoney, said: “I have known Roula since we started ShipMoney and we could not find a better individual to represent our Company in these very important Greek and Cypriot markets. We are ecstatic about her joining ShipMoney.

“Matthew and Liliia bring a depth of knowledge and experience to the team and we are delighted to be welcoming them both onboard. Putting the needs of our clients at the forefront of our day-to-day operations is at the heart of what we do here at ShipMoney and strengthening our team, as we have done, will only enhance this,” he stressed.

Mr Ostrow added: “These new appointments underline the commitment ShipMoney has to the global maritime market as we continue to invest in our Implementation Teams to meet the demands from new and existing clients. Investing in these resources means we can avoid unnecessary delays in rolling out the ShipMoney programme.”

ShipMoney is a comprehensive maritime payments solutions provider, facilitating onboard payroll payments, employer and employee-generated international remittances, money transfers and onboard expense payments through a singular integrated payments platform.

ShipMoney announces strategic partnership with Nautilus Port Services

Stuart Ostrow

Stuart Ostrow

President of Maritime
Payment Solutions - ShipMoney

Maritime Payment Solutions’ ShipMoney has strengthened its foothold in the key Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam shipping range by joining forces with one of Rotterdam’s major port services companies.

It has entered into a strategic partnership with Nautilus Port Services (NPS) to introduce the most up-to-date payment systems for ship owners and managers to finally remove cash onboard ship and deliver real cost-savings for its crew and families.

The ShipMoney platform will significantly reduce the need for vessels to have cash onboard and will remove the time-consuming administration for both the ship owner and the Master. Furthermore, with the introduction of complementary services, ship’s crew will have access to a myriad of service offerings that will see them make considerable financial savings without having to leave their cabins.

Stuart Ostrow, ShipMoney President noted that he was very excited about the new strategic partnership with NPS expanding ShipMoney’s footprint in the European maritime market.

“NPS has a growing reputation across Europe for its unique customer centric agency services and we feel this partnership will complement each other’s enterprises,” he said.

Ron Meuldijk, Managing Director of NPS-Europe, said: “Our collaboration with ShipMoney had been driven by our clients’ desire to manage ‘cash free vessels’ while giving onboard crew members valuable exposure to e-commerce. Moreover, it will also play an important role in reducing HSSE concerns pertaining to handling cash in ports for which many ship owners worldwide are paying excessive fees.”

ShipMoney is a comprehensive maritime payments system that facilitates onboard payroll payments, employer and employee generated international remittances, money transfers and onboard expense payments through a singular integrated payments platform.

ShipMoney Strengthens Its Position in the Market by Providing Financial Payments Services to Campbell Shipping

Stuart Ostrow

Stuart Ostrow

President of Maritime
Payment Solutions - ShipMoney

Global payments provider ShipMoney is arming more maritime crews with financial independence through its innovative electronic maritime payments system, following the latest contract it has secured with shipmanagement company Campbell Shipping.

ShipMoney is a comprehensive maritime payments system that facilitates onboard payroll payments, employer and employee generated international remittances, money transfers and onboard expense payments through a singular integrated payments platform.

Stuart Ostrow, President of ShipMoney, said: “I am delighted that ShipMoney will be servicing all of Campbell Shipping’s crew and Captains with our payment solutions. I am very pleased to see a recent positive shift in the attitude of the industry, which is increasingly adapting to the changing world of maritime payments.

“ShipMoney eliminates the need for crew to carry excessive amounts of cash offering safety and security while traveling to and from the vessels, as well as financial independence for seafarers.”

Davina McKenzie, Campbell Group Group Financial Controller, “Campbell Shipping is very pleased to offer this system to our crew members, which allows our seafarers to manage their own payments and reduce the need for cash onboard our ships.”

ShipMoney offers an alternative to how crew members are paid today providing them with real-time access to their wages anywhere and at any time. Through the ShipMoney Visa payroll card, crew can withdraw local currency at ATMs, make purchases, and transfer funds with Western Union and other remittance services.

Continuing to Pay Crew with Cash Will Bring Further Challenges, Says ShipMoney

Stuart Ostrow

Stuart Ostrow

President of Maritime
Payment Solutions - ShipMoney

Paying crew members in cash will lead to further challenges of increased incidents of piracy and theft, says global financial payments company ShipMoney.

ShipMoney President Stuart Ostrow will address delegates at Crew Connect Global, taking place between 6th to 8th November, explaining the challenges ship managers face by continuing to pay their seafarers with cash.

The company believes that shipping businesses are leaving themselves open to increased incidents of piracy and theft by not looking at alternative payment methods and fully embracing the new digital age.

Given that the rate of delivering cash to ships ranges from 3% to 10%, reducing the amount of money that is onboard a vessel could also result in ship managers and owners reducing their annual spend by a significant 50%.

There are currently around 69,000 ships in the world’s merchant fleet with almost $6.8billion in hard cash onboard at any one time.

By continuing to pay seafarers in the historical method of hard cash, crew members are also forced to face extra charges when wring money home and withdrawing money in different currencies, Mr Ostrow will explain to delegates.

ShipMoney will be exhibiting at booth number six at the Crew Connect Global Conference, which is taking place in Manila, the Philippines.

How The Maritime Industry Can Learn From The Successes Of Olympians

General Kuba Szymanski

General Kuba Szymanski

InterManager Secretary

Industry experts explored the secrets behind Olympic Success and how athletes’ experiences can be used to help lead the maritime industry, in a unique event during London International Shipping Week 2017.
 
The event was hosted on Tuesday morning by global financial services provider ShipMoney with help from world renowned leadership expert Phil Kelly, Director of Pro-Noctis which offers personal and professional development coaching. He has previously mentored Olympians, fast-jet pilots and CEOs to be successful leaders in their fields.



Mr Kelly led the event delivering a lively and interactive presentation to the audience, which was then followed by a panel debate moderated by Secretary-General of InterManager Captain Kuba Szymanski.



Other panel members included Greg O’Connell , Business Development Manager at ShipMoney and Allan Graveson, former seafarer and Senior National Secretary with Nautilus International.
 


Mr Kelly opened the discussion: “Across the various industries I have worked with, I would say for the last 10-20 years there has been a heavy reliance on what we class as system one – processes, procedures and protocol, and we forget about the people. 
 


“But what is the maritime industry going to do to drive people? That’s not just talking about crew members, but also top of the house CEOs. So to the CEOs what are you doing at the top of the house to set an example to those that are out there delivering the day-to-day product.”
 


Leading the panel debate Capt Szymanski said: “The control of system one is superb in the shipping industry I am very proud of it. The ISM code is something that has helped a lot of people. But system two, the human  element, we really don’t know anything about this. Look at what is happening, we hire and fire our seafarers.
 


Mr Graveson said : “You’re not dealing with an elite product you are dealing with a commodity. And that is effectively what has happened to the seafaring profession. The seafaring community has been turned into a commodity and in many cases a disposable commodity.”
 
Capt Szymanski highlighted the challenge seafarers face by being paid by cash and not into their bank accounts. They struggle to gain credit and send money easily home to their families. Although seafarers are high earners they are not in the world of banking because they do not have a regular income or permanent contracts.
 


Panel members agreed more focus must be put on the human element in the maritime industry. They also praised more successful industries where there is a ‘coaching culture’ between employees, where staff members share knowledge as standard practice when on and off duty.   


After the event, Stuart Ostrow, President of ShipMoney commented: “Seafarers must be treated as a valuable and integral part of the team.  And maritime companies should offer crew members financlal access and flexibility similar to shoreside staff.
 


“In today’s digital world of real-time transactions that can be initiated anywhere and at any time, there is no reason why large volumes of cash are still sent to ships to pay crew wages and onboard ship expenses.  It is our mission to effectuate change in the maritime industry to adopt alternative financial solutions.”