MANAMA: Al Jazeera Shipping Company (AJS) has enrolled in Al Rateb, the first digital payroll solution and wage protection scheme in Bahrain.
Al Rateb allows employers to pay wages to unbanked workers digitally and was rolled out earlier this year by fintech enabler and payment services provider Arab Financial Services (AFS) and Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (ASBB).
AJS, which has been active in the maritime business serving the offshore and oil industry for over 45 years, becomes the first offshore marine services provider to adopt a wage protection scheme, giving its unbanked employees access to convenient and secure financial services.
AFS chief executive B Chandrasekhar said: “AFS’ Al Rateb solution is a financial inclusion offering that, in line with the vision of Bahrain to move towards a digital, cashless society, banks the unbanked. We are delighted to welcome Al Jazeera Shipping Company to the growing list of corporates who are rapidly adopting our solution and enjoying its many benefits. With Al Rateb, we are enabling a typically underserved population giving them access to financial services tools that are convenient, affordable, secure and simple to use.”
Al Jazeera’s general manager Hasan Mahmood said: “This is the first time a digital wage protection system for the unbanked has been used in the maritime industry in Bahrain and its benefits have been well-received by all. We are extremely pleased with the services provided by Al Rateb to our unbanked seafarer workforce, as it has helped our staff manage their finances instantly and provides them with peace of mind.”
Al Rateb is a wage protection system that allows employers to securely upload wages and benefits onto payroll cards through an online portal that is configured with their own payroll systems.
Cardholders can withdraw funds at any ATM, transfer funds globally through AFS’s remittance service and use point of sale terminals locally or abroad.
Alongside this, a dedicated Al Rateb mobile ATM van moves between locations across Bahrain providing employees with easy access to an ATM.
Cardholders can also access financial services, including statements, interactive dashboards, 24/7 customer care and multilingual customer support.
Thousands of workers already have their wages paid through Al Rateb, which is available to all employers, regardless of their workforce size.
Al Salam Bank-Bahrain deputy chief executive Anwar Murad said: “The Al Rateb offering combines the latest in digital technologies with all the benefits of a traditional banking service to offer convenience and security to employers and employees. We look forward to serving the requirements of Al Jazeera Shipping Company in a tailored manner through this first-to-market banking solution.”
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