App for Filipino seafarers launches e-marketplace with HMO, insurance and loan products

MarCoPay, a fintech app targeting Filipino seafarers, has launched an e-marketplace feature with HMO (health maintenance organization), insurance and loan products.

“Seafarers are an essential part of the global economy and supply chain…We are trying to solve [their] pain points,” said Toshiaki Fujioka, President and CEO of MarCoPay Inc. (MCP), licensed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, during a press briefing on April 6.

MarCoPay’s e-marketplace offers home and auto loan products through its partner, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). It also offers home and auto insurance products through BPI MS Insurance (a joint venture of BPI and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co.) and prepaid HMO products through PhilCare.

The app includes a quote calculator for car and home loans, as well as a premium calculator for home and family insurance. A request can be completed – and its status subsequently monitored – also in the app.

Its other features include payday loans, e-money transfers, and currency converters.

The company listened to more than 3,000 seafarers, their dependents, and their employment agencies to help create the app’s functionality, said Izumi Yamashita, general manager of MCP Innovations, Inc.

“It was created for sailors with sailors,” she said during the briefing. “We are in the field, so we are convinced that we provide the best solutions for [them].”

One of the app’s more than 7,00 registered users is First Captain Calenn F. Cabading, who has been a sailor since 2011. Sending money home is a common challenge among sailors, he said. declared.

“A crew member would save money on board and then wait for a crew change schedule before they could send money,” he told the audience at the April 6 event. “[Other times]they should trust someone else to send money [on their behalf].”

In the past, sending money meant sending physical letters that took months to arrive, he added.

“We now have easy-to-use and secure transactions, whether ashore or on board,” Mr. Cabiling said.

MarCoPay additionally offers free webinars on financial literacy, Ms. Yamashita said.

“We don’t want them to work their whole lives and then lose everything they’ve worked hard for when tragedy strikes,” she added. “We have also [emphasize preparing for] their retirement and the education of their children.

In the app’s pipeline – which launched in August 2021 – is a prepaid Visa card for purchases, as well as an expansion of its target market.

“We are focusing on seafarers in the Philippines, but plan to expand our coverage to non-Filipino seafarers as well as OFWs (Filipino Overseas Workers),” Fujioka said. – Patricia B. Mirasol

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