The Black Elite, a minibus taxi rewards programme is slowly gaining popularity among taxi drivers.
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 in April 2018 by SA Taxi, an independent minibus taxi financier, in collaboration with Taxi Choice, the commercial arm of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO).
“Through engagement with the industry, SA Taxi aims to leverage off of its telematics systems and Black Elite fuel rewards programme to develop its connected services offering,” JSE-listed Transaction Capital, which owns SA Taxi, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Its growth strategy will be focused on transacting with South Africa’s 250 000 minibus taxi operators.”
With about 14 000 cards distributed and in excess of 6.5 million litres of fuel pumped since its launch in April 2018, the Black Elite fuel programme delivers commercial benefits to SA Taxi and its clients, said Transaction Capital.
“Further rewards programmes are under consideration.”
Furthermore, the JSE-listed firm said technology and telematics Data and telematics underpin SA Taxi’s operations and are key to mitigating risk.
“The division continues to enrich its proprietary database, with data accumulated daily from each minibus taxi and applied to credit decisions, collections, repossessions and insurance activities,” said Transaction Capital.
“In addition, it continues to invest in information technology, data management and predictive analytics to inform credit and underwriting decisions, prevent insurable events and reduce the cost of insurance claims, and to improve processing capabilities and operational efficiencies.”
In addition, SA Taxi continues to leverage its Black Elite rewards programme to expand and establish a tailored rewards programme within the minibus taxi ecosystem, with the ultimate intention of transacting with South Africa’s 250 000 minibus taxi operators.
“Once established, reward programme initiatives within SA Taxi’s Connected Services division could serve as a gateway to provide relevant financial products and services to the 9.9 million households or 15 million commuters who use SA Taxi’s minibus taxi infrastructure every day,” the company said.
Meanwhile, Taximart, a subsidiary of SA Taxi, acquired an additional 90% shareholding in Black Elite Benefits on 1 February 2019, over and above the current 10% investment held. Black Elite Benefits provides rewards to subscribed SA Taxi customers in partnership with relevant service providers.
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 within 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.
Off course, that’s easier 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.