Managing glamorous money
Jane Turner, CEO of fintech company Centtrip, discusses money management in the superyacht industry…
Centtrip, a global fintech provider of expense management and card payment technology, has a very particular focus on the superyacht industry. The company hopes to accelerate cash-free cruising, offering less operational risk and improving efficiency, especially in an increasingly cashless post-pandemic world. The platform recently announced its launch in the United States giving businesses in the maritime sector real-time visibility and control over operational expenses, charter client APAs and card payments, and is designed specifically for the needs of highly mobile organisations.
The Centtrip Mastercard offers personalised high balance and transaction limits. Organizations can have as many cards as required (several hundred cards for a single project is not uncommon) with many businesses issuing multiple cards to all key crew members; one for yacht operations and one or two for consecutive charter APAs.
Jane Turner, CEO of Centtrip explained the expansion into US territory, “Speed and service are paramount within the yachting industry and for too long financial inefficiencies have plagued the sector. Centtrip’s technology makes it clear, fast and effective for crews to manage their funds. We have a number of clients in the United States who use Centtrip globally and now want to use the service domestically. By expanding into the U.S., we are giving highly mobile organizations more control, flexibility and visibility over their money.”
The fintech, headquartered in London, has over 20,000 clients and users around the world, including the world’s largest superyachts. Founded in 2015, by experts in payments, foreign exchange and technology, Centtrip now processes over $1.3 billion in transactions each year and is experiencing rapid growth across all core markets as they emerge from the pandemic.
Farid El Khazzar, Charter Accountant at Edminston, has also previously commented on the benefits of a digital platform for money management, “Our captains can now monitor clients’ APA in real time, usually they are free in the evening or early morning and that's the best time to do their account, send payments and so on. The app is ideal because it is really user friendly and gives captains real-time reporting of transactions, 24/7 from anywhere in the world.”
Cardholders and authorised administrators can control the card directly from the Centtrip app, setting spend limits, freezing or unfreezing cards, and utilising real-time visibility of transactions. Clients have the choice to either preload individual cards with funds, for example a cardholder’s available budget, or to have all cards on an account draw from the same, central account balance, in the same way that bank debit cards operate. As part of the recent expansion, Centtrip has opened an office in Miami Beach, Florida, and plans to expand its US based team in the coming months.
Speaking exclusively with SuperyachtNews, Turner explained what sets Centtrip apart from other comparable businesses, “ We are a very customer-centric business. We recognise that owners are represented by their family office. So that third party intermediary is what we are supporting. So we are always working either directly with the owners or on their behalf. When we get clients on board we have a conversation with them about how they want to financially structure their world. We create a tailored environment based on the currencies they want to use, the amount of permission to give each person, and what their transactional limits and boundaries should be.”
Turner also went on to explain how the platform helps to bring the superyacht industry into the digital world, “When you think about what this is replacing, it's not just getting rid of a very basic level of account management and putting dynamic reporting and tracking in its place. You are also replacing the need for cash, which superyachts normally carry a lot of, and that has serious security implementations.
Digital platforms offer a much more sustainable and efficient alternative for some of the old-fashioned and antiquated methods and systems used on superyachts. Businesses such as Centtrip are helping to bring the industry into the digital age and appear more attractive to a younger generation of stakeholders. It will certainly be interesting to see if the industry is able to adapt and overcome its existing challenges in such an evolving space, and what the leap into the digital era will mean for the market as a whole. But for that to happen, it appears tech companies must continue building trust and ensuring security to get more clients on board.
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