Recognising the key role that digitisation is playing in the financial lives of more and more of its customers, South Africa’s leading fuel and convenience retailer Engen is prioritising electronic payment solutions at the core of its customer offering.
With over 3.4 billion litres of fuel pumped from Engen forecourts in 2020, or approximately 25% of the local market, and some 327 million retail customer transactions honoured in that time, Engen is witnessing a sharp increase in digital payments across its market leading network of 1 000+ service stations.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the adoption of digital payments and likely accelerated its use by a few years, Engen was already witnessing and responding to a growing move to digital payments – a shift that research suggests may ultimately lead to a cashless society,” comments Khalid Latiff, Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy and Communications.
A recently released report by PwC titled ‘Payments 2025 and Beyond’, estimates cashless transaction volume growth in Africa of 78% from 2020-25 and 64% by 2030, meaning that the number of cashless transactions on the continent will be approximately double to triple the current level.
“One of the unintended consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns is that more and more people commenced, or upped, their use of digital technology to shop and transact, which has served to quicken the spread of mobile-first behaviour and lessened daily reliance on cash,” observes Latiff.
“As such, Engen has made proactive advancements in the digital payment space over the past 18 months to ensure we serve our customers in a manner that they demand.”
It has seen Engen pioneer a fuel and convenience store app for motorists with release of the Engen 1app in July 2020, conveniently offering its South African customers a safe and contactless way to settle transactions across its 1 000+ service stations.
“As South Africa again eases its Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, and ahead of the Festive Season, many more motorists are expected on the road and to visit the country’s favourite and ‘coolest’ petrol station brand* – Engen,” says Seelan Naidoo, Engen General Manager: Retail.
“In preparation, we encourage all motorists to download the Engen 1app because it offers a safe customer service experience, as there is no touching of devices, cards or cash required.”
By downloading and using Engen 1app, motorists do not need to carry cash or cards to make fuel purchases; while loyalty points are automatically registered with Engen’s prestigious loyalty partners, Clicks Clubcard and FNB’s eBucks.
“Engen 1app’s digital wallet allows motorists and shoppers to load and store their payment methods, such as cards or accounts, on their mobile devices,” adds Naidoo.
“It also allows you to send fuel funds to friends and family through the app. For example, if your child has run out of money for petrol and they have an important interview to get to or a university exam to sit, you can send money to their 1card stored in the app for them to fill up with fuel or shop at Engen.”
According to a report by FIS, a leading financial services technology group, digital-wallet-based transactions increased globally by 7% in 2020.
Says Latiff: “Their prediction is that digital wallets will account for more than half of all global e-commerce payments by 2024, as consumers transfer from card-based transactions to QR code-based ones.”
This is conveyed in the Engen 1app’s encouraging growth, with an 129% increase in downloads between January and October 2021, a 102% jump in registrations and a 143% increase in total payments.
“The increase in the use of the Engen 1app reaffirms our customer lens focus on digital and is borne out by the app’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 92 (up from 90 since the beginning of 2021),” says Naidoo.
Other benefits of Engen 1app include an interactive Engen service station locator, a vehicle logbook to track your mileage, full record of your purchase history and special promotions, all offering customers a gateway to the future of convenience motoring.
Customer Sebastian Aitken is impressed, leaving the following review: “Smooth registration and login, quick load and ease of access with biometrics!”
As is Ettione Ferreira, who received prompt assistance from the Engen1app support team: “Very impressed with the willingness to assist and enjoying the app so far.”
But it is the latest innovation that has really captured the imagination of customers – Engen 1app now also features a ‘Tip an Attendant’ function, which allows motorists and shoppers across South Africa to tip deserving Engen staff at their discretion for the warm and friendly service that they have long been renowned for.
In partnership with Telkom Financial Services, this new feature has been specifically designed to enable motorists and Quickshop customers to tip Engen petrol attendants and cashiers via Engen 1app for efficient service, without having to reach for their wallets or rumble about in a glove box for loose change.
Comments customer Marco Barone: “You don’t have to touch anything like cards or pens to make the transaction and you can leave the attendant a decent tip that you know will go to his eWallet. Five Star rating! Well deserved!”
The tips are paid into the private Telkom Pay Wallet registered to the Engen forecourt staff member who offered outstanding customer service, and the full amount is available immediately to them for use as they see fit.
Adds Engen’s Naidoo: “Customer service and constant innovation are key drivers for Engen, which is why we are extremely excited to bring our customers ‘Tip an Attendant’ as a way to acknowledge and support our hardworking pump attendants and Quickshop cashiers.
“This is just another example of the consistent focus Engen places on invigorating the brand and its associated offerings so that it remains a compelling, top of mind destination for fuel and convenience shopping,” adds Naidoo.
South Africans have long come to expect consistent innovation from Engen, with the company revolutionising the local retail petroleum sector with the introduction of the original ‘vacation station’ Engen 1Stop concept in 1986 and the Quickshop convenience store concept in the early 1990s.
Since then, Engen added the super successful Woolworths Foodstop concept in the early 2000s and leading global confectionary brand, Krispy Kreme in 2019, amongst partnerships with various other industry leading convenience offerings, amongst which are also Engen’s ongoing partnership with prestigious rewards programmes, eBucks and Clicks Clubcard.
Courier company DSV also has 250+ lockers strategically located at Engen service stations nationwide, facilitating a safe and convenient way for Engen customers to send and receive parcels.
“Staying relevant and placing the customer at the very heart of our business is an over-arching priority for Engen, which means we continue to invest great effort into remaining an attractive stop-over for motorists,” says Naidoo.
This relevance is reflected in Engen’s more than decade long success in both the Sunday Times Top Brands and the Sunday Times Generation Next awards, with the company named South Africa’s “Favourite Petrol Station” brand and “Coolest” petrol station for 10 years (2011-2020) and 12 years (2010-2021) years respectively.
Engen’s also leads in Net Promoter Score (NPS) against its industry competitors. Says Latiff: “We continue to listen to the needs of South Africans and formulate energy and convenience solutions that make their lives infinitely better.
“And whilst we are grateful and humbled by the consistent recognition we receive from our customers, they can be assured that South Africa’s No.1 fuel and convenience company remains passionate about progress, always seeking to create meaningful experiences and ever determined to be considered a progressive energy and solutions partner enriching lives for a sustainable future.”
So, don’t delay….download the new Engen 1App today by simply visiting the Google Play or Apple App store.