If you’ve been in the industry long enough, you might remember the days when the captain counted cash out of an envelope as the chef headed off provisioning at the morning market or for stews stocking up on bottles of chilled rosé for guests before lunch. Or patting down your pockets, desperate to find that receipt you thought you’d so carefully tucked away, hoping you hadn’t thrown it out by accident.
Granted, credit cards are nothing new in the industry (nor are stories about misplaced boat cards), but products and systems in the digital payment space that can make running a superyacht easy are. And at this month’s Monaco Yacht Show at the BOAT International Captains’ Club, you’ll have the opportunity to try out Starboard, a built-for-yachting banking service that is set to shake up the way yacht finances are managed.
Starboard is built around a trio of common pain points in yacht finance: accountability, flexibility and control. And the solution this product brings to market is secure and easy, harnessing the latest in financial technology.
Version one is set to launch this November, with Version two ready in time for the 2023 Mediterranean yacht season. Here’s what to expect from this innovative new product.
Card, desktop and app service
With their Starboard Visa debit card, crew members on yachts of all sizes have access to the funds they need, while the account holder keeps visibility and control over spending at their fingertips. This multi-currency solution provides accounts in GBP, EUR and USD as well as access to all major banking networks, including SWIFT, SEPA and Faster Payment. Account holders can also tap into competitive foreign currency exchange rates.
Used in conjunction with the card, Starboard is available as a desktop website and an app. Here, a user can find real-time accounting functionalities, such as money transfers, virtual cards, and quote approval — all broken down into separate APAs or other accounting criteria. And, with an added function allowing you to upload receipts, the days of handing over dog-eared receipts to the captain are gone!
The app also has built-in security features that allow you to lock or deactivate lost or stolen cards and instantly query any suspicious transactions. You can also continue to update your files even when offline as transactions and approvals automatically sync when you return to the network range.
An APA Management System compiles reports and budget outlines instantly, whether it's an end-of-charter reconciliation or an overview of costs for an upcoming refit or new build project. The data can also be exported and shared in a variety of formats.
And no matter when or where you have a question, or how complex the requirement is, there’s a global Starboard support team that can be reached around the clock, every day of the year.
Built by yachties, for yachties
Such a system can only have been built by people who understand the industry, although, like most successful innovations, the idea came about by a chance encounter. When Starboard Founder and CEO Dan Lane accepted a spontaneous invitation to a party at Cowes Week several years ago, little did the British entrepreneur know that the experience he’d enjoy there would lead him in a whole new business direction some years later.
Bitten by the sailing bug that week, Dan has gone on to race boats across the globe. As he immersed himself in the sailing world, he spotted an opportunity in the market for a dedicated yacht financial services platform. Cue Starboard…
Along with his role at Starboard, Dan is also Chairman of the Andrew Cassell Foundation, which enables those with physical disabilities or impairments to sail competitively, in an inclusive and equal environment, against able-bodied sailors.
See it for yourself…
At Monaco this September, and Fort Lauderdale and METStrade later in the year, the Starboard team will be running a prototype version. “We intend to use the platform to gauge the market's response to ensure we've created a system that is of genuine benefit to captains, owners and crew,” says Starboard’s founder and CEO, Dan Lane.
For events where a demonstration of the product isn't feasible, Lane adds that more relaxed market testing through candid conversations with captains will allow for greater collaboration with prospective customers. “We hope to create a "community-built" feel for Starboard which will mean a superior product in the long run.”
For more information, or to arrange a visit to the team during an upcoming yacht show, contact Starboard directly here.
Sponsored Content created for Starboard