Japanese shipping company NYK is considering the creation of a new network that will enable onboard financial settlements through the remittance of electronic money (e-money).
Onboard tests have been conducted to examine the potential to reduce administrative work and the risk of cash loss and thus foster an employee-friendly workplace where crews can work comfortably and concentrate on ship operations, the company said.
From August to the end of September, NYK teamed with Japan Card Network (JCN) to conduct several tests. The duo examined the feasibility and effectiveness of the introduction of e-money that can be exchanged for cash, the establishment of an environment that allows the crew to use e-money on board and an application that enables e-money to be easily managed.
Today, onboard payments are made in cash. Crew members are given a part of their salaries in cash and daily goods are paid for in cash. A captain spends time to oversee payment, inventory and orders, and crew members need to handle cash on board and pay overseas remittance charges to send funds to family members in home countries.
NYK estimates that total cash on its ships around the world amounts to about USD 800 million a year, and costs related to handling are very high. Therefore, as part of the company’s Creative Solutions Startup Support System, NYK has begun to examine the use of FinTech to realize cashless ships.
Payments by land offices, onboard purchases, and remittances can all be done on board with e-money in a stable communication environment. In addition, cost, time, and risk can be reduced through electronic transactions instead of cash, according to NYK.
The company said that many issues remain to be addressed before a cashless ship can be realized. However, NYK aims to construct a viable system by cooperating with various sources and improving operational issues for commercialization.
As explained, the initiative encourages sustainable economic growth by improving productive activities and creative innovation and is in line with the group’s medium-term management plan “Staying ahead 2022 with digitalization and green”.