by Ujuh Reporter
Black Elite, a card-based consumer programme that offers fuel rewards to minibus taxi operators, could become a considerable banking operation if its backers follow through their stated vision.
The fuel rewards programme was launched recently by SA Taxi, an independent minibus taxi financier, in collaboration with Taxi Choice, the commercial arm of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO).
Black Elite is positioned as “a pioneering multi-faceted card-based rewards program.”
It could become huge if it succeeds to pull a deep penetration into the minibus taxi industry. And it could be a realisation of a long lost dream of deriving added economic value from the collectivised purchasing power of the industry.
The minibus taxi industry is thought to be a sleeping giant defined as:
- A R100 billion industry
- With more than 200 000 vehicles
- Employing more than 600,000 people
- Transports 15 million commuters per day
- Accounting for 66% of the country’s public transport traffic
With a united vision, the industry could launch a mutual bank at the blink of an eye. Of course, that’s easily said than done. The industry is dogged by violent fights for markets and control of its massive levy kitties. And it is disorganised and unprofessionally run.
SA Taxi is unperturbed. It sees the potential and is going for it. The operation launched Black Elite on the back of a track record of financing minibus taxi operators. And it states that the Black Elite card has a huge potential to be converted into “a functional bank card”.
Advancement of mobile information and communication technologies (ICT) will allow this as reflected by the emergence of six new banking operations.
New operations like Discovery Bank, Bank Zero, Tyme Digital and the Young Women in Business Network are emerging to take on the giants like Standard Bank, Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Capitec. They are mostly propelled by the fact that mobile communication technologies have made it easier to start a new banking network than the capital-intensive requirements of old. – ujuh.co.za