Maritime shipping payments are still predominately manual, expensive and cumbersome, but a growing number of tech firms and banks are trying to change that.

To tap the cost shaving potential in that market, First Data has launched PayCargo, an electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) tool that integrates with existing carrier accounts receivable systems using a method that can update invoice and payment data several times daily.

Recent Aberdeen research says shipping firms pay up to $18 to process  an invoice, with some firms paying more than $40. Disputes can cost up to $15 due to phone calls and fax charges to approve, question resolve disagreements over payments. The Web-based PayCargo has no setup or membership fees, and little or no capital expenditure by shippers or carriers.

The maritime payments industry is starting to heat up, with other pending rollouts including a joint venture between Deutsche Bank and shipping electronic commerce firm Inttra to provide and EIPP service to the container shipping industry.

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