MarTrust: The product that you have taken from MarTrust is the E-Wallet and card for crew members, to pay their salaries. What did you do before using the MarTrust solution?
George: We were using MarTrust to make allotments for the crew, which was much more competitive than bank rates, quicker, and we had way faster feedback when something went wrong, which is always positive because nobody wants to have a seafarer who has been working onboard that cannot receive his funds, his salary.
Then when the E-Wallet and cards were introduced, we were the first ones to join and the reason being is that it offers several benefits to all three parties involved: the owners, the managers, and the seafarers.
For the owners, it offers a competitive cost for the allotments. For the managers, it offers transparency and speed. And for the seafarers, it means instant money and the ability to send their funds and to use their funds, anywhere they see fit.
MarTrust: What feedback have you had from the crew about the E-Wallet and the card?
George: Well, every change is usually negatively perceived. After the first month, the crew loved the plan, the whole project. We started with one vessel to run a test, and now we have gone through it twice. Everybody appreciates the flexibility and speed of the E-Wallet.
MarTrust: So, the feature they like the best is how they get paid quicker.
George: They get paid quicker and they can use their funds anywhere they see fit.
MarTrust: Okay, so generally, positive feedback from the crew?
George: That’s correct.
MarTrust: For you as a company, what is your favourite feature of the system?
George: Well, the ability of the crew to utilize the funds in the way they want. Because in the past, we had to run multiple allotments per seafarer, and being able to set the cost aside, which was substantial. Also, the time the accounts department was using to process all these payments, now we don’t have to do that anymore.
MarTrust: How was the onboarding process and how was the customer service with MarTrust? How have they resolved the problems you’ve no doubt experienced?
George: Well, it’s pretty simple and quick I would say, they are always just a phone call away or an email away, whenever there is an issue, we can resolve it within 48 hours.
MarTrust: Is there anything that I have missed that you wanted to say?
George: Well, E-Wallet is the future, whether we like it or not. So, with the utilization also of the Cash to Master for the vessels, we are saving funds in the hundreds or thousands of dollars per year because now the captain has his card onboard, which he can utilize for vessel needs. This is saving per vessel, an average of $8,000 to $10,000 per year on fees that we pay to the port agents, which makes us happier. The owners are definitely happier, and the captains are pretty happy as well because they don’t have the risk of carrying a lot of cash onboard.
MarTrust: Cash to Master, are you using that on all your vessels at the moment?
George: With the exception of one, yes.
MarTrust: For those that don’t know ABC Maritime well, maybe you can tell us a little bit about the company.
George: ABC Maritime has forty years of history. We started as owners. Lately, we have been working as managers as well, third-party owners. We have expertise in Tankers and Bulkers and the offshore industry. We have been in West Africa for all 40 years, with Europe, US, and Paris as well.
MarTrust: Great, well, George thank you so much for your time.