A service industry
Exploring why the easiest financial option is not always the best for superyacht crew…
In a world where we increasingly expect our services to be easy and instant, it is tempting to get swept up in the notion that all transactions, or transactional services, should adhere to similar levels of rapid gratification. However, where hard-earned cash is concerned, the smart money remains with those businesses that adhere to a higher level of regulation in order to protect it and that provide a level of personal service that goes far beyond merely being an effective product.
Fully regulated traditional banks such as Standard Bank are now experiencing competition from internet-based, automated platforms and the main draw for the crew is that it is easy to open an account with them.
“It is true that these online-platforms can be useful, however, I would urge caution when considering using such services as a replacement for a fully regulated bank, especially where wages are concerned,” explains Sheena Maddrell, business development manager for global yacht crew at Standard Bank. “It does take a little more time than a button click to open an account with us, however in taking time to get securely onboarded, it will make life easier moving forward, and it’s rare that we have to go back to crew for additional information once they start to transact with us”.
More importantly, however, what these platforms lack is human interaction. Indeed, an automated system is never an adequate replacement for an experienced professional who is available to field calls and guide clients through any issues that might occur. At its very core, the superyacht industry is a service industry. There is an expectation that, regardless of the problem, location or time, that there will be someone on hand to provide assistance.
“We’ve worked with crew since Standard Bank began on the Isle of Man, however, it was in 2013 that we decided to refocus on the market and create a bespoke solution that takes into consideration the various nuances of superyacht crew life.”
“Having dealt with crew for many years, we understand the unique requirements of the yachting community and have a dedicated team for providing assistance. When there is a crew issue, I am also personally alerted. For Standard Bank, crew aren’t just a number, they are a person and their financial security is our responsibility,” continues Maddrell. “We not only provide a bespoke product; we provide a value-added service that is in keeping with the levels of service expected in the yachting industry. We really don’t mind going the extra mile.”
By way of example, Maddrell highlights how many traditional banks remain rigid in terms of their take on procedures that would allow an individual to open a bank account. Unlike typical banks, Standard Bank doesn’t require home utility bills, proof of address or a signature from a notary or lawyer, owing to the fact that these are redundant forms of documentation for superyacht crew. Instead, Standard Bank allows captains and first officers to certify crewmembers in conjunction with various other forms of due diligence. Furthermore, Standard Bank is able to operate in dollars, euros, sterling and Australian dollars, as well providing two-currency accounts.
The Isle of Man is a safe and secure banking jurisdiction and Standard Bank Isle of Man Limited is covered by the Isle of Man compensation scheme which means that protection may be provided to crewmembers’ balances up to £50,000 per individual. With Standard Bank, an experienced team of experts is working for the betterment of crew finances and those people are available on the end of a phone to discuss each crewmember’s unique financial situation.
While online, fully automated fintech platforms serve as a useful add-on to the traditional banking system, the bespoke solutions and customer service offered by Standard Bank, as yet, has no bone fide competition.
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