MOL uses digital wallet to pay seafarers’ salary 

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is offering MarTrust, a payment service for ocean shipping, for all seafarers onboard vessels managed by MOL Group ship management companies, to improve seafarers’ quality of life by providing a portion of payroll through electronic payment services on mobile applications. MOL plans to make MarTrust available to all eligible seafarers by fiscal 2024.

MarTrust is an international payroll remittance service for seafarers, developed by the Marcura Group (headquartered in Dubai, UAE), a digital transformation solution provider focusing on the ocean shipping industry. 

With the introduction of MarTrust, seafarers will be given an e-wallet account and an accompanying debit card, allowing them to transfer to bank accounts and between e-wallets through a mobile application. It also supports cash withdrawals from ATMs almost anywhere in the world, so that payments received electronically can be converted to cash.

Seafarers’ salaries are required by international convention to be paid into a bank account, but a portion of their salary is received onboard the vessel, and this portion has been paid in cash. 

With the introduction of MarTrust, the following changes and benefits are available as a result of the electronic receipt of onboard payment and the provision of an international branded accompanying debit card.

  • When remitting salaries received in cash to relatives and others, the remittance procedures had to be completed through the seafarer’s manning company. There were restrictions on where the money could be sent, and it took about a month for the money to be transferred. With the introduction of MarTrust, seafarers will be able to receive their cash paychecks on a mobile application and send the money directly to the payee of their choice in a matter of days.
  • The seafarer may not have a credit card that can be used worldwide, depending on the nationality. In such cases, there are restrictions on online shopping, and purchases at ports of call must be made in cash only, which can lead to the inconvenience of currency exchange. MarTrust’s accompanying debit card is almost universally accepted, making online shopping and port of call purchases easier.
  • Part of the salary was paid in cash, so the captain was mainly responsible for managing the income and expenditures onboard the vessel and reporting to the ship management company, but digitization will streamline this process.
  • Receiving all cash payments on the mobile application also eliminates the risk of lost cash.

From April to July 2023, MOL conducted trials of MarTrust on its group company-managed vessels, and the decision to fully introduce the service was based on the many comments from seafarers who participated in the trials on the need for the service, as well as its benefits.

Photo credit: iStock/ BlackSalmon

The best maritime news and insights delivered to you.

subscribe maritime fairtrade

Here's what you can expect from us:

  • Event offers and discounts
  • News & key insights of the maritime industry
  • Expert analysis and opinions on corruption and more