Stocktake
Stocktake

Stocktake: Checkers targets pet owners with insurance product

Checkers has entered the lucrative world of pet insurance with a new financial product; Ukheshe adds executives to its expanding foray into Africa; and the Consumer Goods Council launches an industry fraud line.

Checkers has entered the lucrative world of pet insurance with a new financial product; Ukheshe adds executives to its expanding foray into Africa; and the Consumer Goods Council launches an industry fraud line.

Checkers adds pet insurance to financial services

Checkers customers can now insure their pets from R89 a month with an exclusive insurance product created specifically for them. Insurance options range from R89 to R245 a month, depending on whether it is accidental cover for injuries, core cover for injuries, illnesses and vet visits, and comprehensive cover covering accidents, vet visits and routine care such as vaccines, sterilisation, dental scaling and deworming. Checkers Pet Insurance includes:

  • A competitive flat rate fee and no waiting period.
  • A fast, paperless claims process.
  • Fixed excess regardless of claim.
  • Multi-pet discounts.

Pet insurance is one of a growing number of financial services innovations from the Shoprite Group. The product is underwritten by OUTsurance, which also partnered with the Group earlier this year when it became the first supermarket retailer to offer an OUTbonus on funeral policies. This, along with other innovations, is in line with the Group’s commitment to put customers first and make shopping more convenient; and to focus on future-fit channels as it rolls out new products and services. These include QR payments – another first to market, where shoppers can pay for groceries with their phones – and the new Money Market Account, a free transactional account which can be used to pay bills, buy airtime, data and savings stamps as well as to send and receive money. Checkers Pet Insurance is not for sale in stores, only via the Checkers site.

Ukheshe announces two key appointments
Victor Ndlovu, vice president of Ukheshe Africa.

As demand for cashless services increase in Africa, digital banking platform provider, Ukheshe, has announced the appointment of Victor Ndlovu as vice president of Ukheshe Africa and Paul Opie as head of issuing, Ukheshe Africa. Both appointments come as the fintech innovator continues to branch out from its South African roots into Africa. According to the most recent Banking in Africa report, African banking groups are still emphasising investment on e-banking and mobile banking services. Some groups are also deploying or planning the development of fintech, with a focus on facilitating mobile money, electronic transfers and back-office operations. In addition, a fair proportion of banking groups surveyed for the report are also investing in lending-related fintech, including data analytics and blockchain technology.

Ndlovu says financial inclusion remains a key challenge on the continent as millions still lack access to regulated financial services. “Ukheshe provides fintech solutions that accelerate economic growth for the underbanked allowing for full financial inclusion. This fits perfectly with my professional passion of helping people step out of poverty in Africa and contribute to the growth of their economies and communities.” Mark Dankworth, executive director, Ukheshe Africa, says that there are plans underway to establish and enhance key partnerships in Africa as the continent shifts towards digital channels, products and services across all categories: “We have already extended our agreements with Mastercard and Nedbank to give SMME businesses access to prepaid and virtual cards, previously only available to large enterprises.”

CGCSA announces Illicit Crime Hotline

Tobacco company Philip Morris South Africa (PMSA) has welcomed the Consumer Goods Council of SA’s (CGCSA) announcement of a newly launched Illicit Crime Hotline to combat illicit trade in South Africa. PMSA is a member of the CGCSA. Marcelo Nico, managing director of PMSA, commented: “The launch of this hotline will enable South Africans to be directly involved in the fight against illicit and counterfeit manufacturing and trading of products in the country, which affects not only government revenues and legitimate businesses like ours, but consumers and society as a whole.” According to the CGCSA, Illicit trade is one of the biggest threats to economic order and growth in South Africa. Abraham Nelson, CGCSA head for the Crime Risk Initiative (CRI), says the toll-free number (0800 014 856) is one of the initiatives by CGCSA to protect its members from illicit or counterfeit manufacturing and trading of various product such as alcohol, cigarettes, food, pharmaceuticals and clothing. It also serves to protect consumers from non-compliant products.

“The launch of this hotline is a step in the right direction to help strengthen cooperation between the consumers, the private sector and government to combat illicit trade,” Nico said. “Recent reports indicate that illegal activities in general were estimated to result in a tax compromise of more than R100bn, while the South African Revenue Services (SARS) estimates at least R10bn in lost taxes over the past four months as reported so far, as a result of the tobacco and alcohol ban.”

This week in numbers:

800

Checkers Sixty60 has created 800 new jobs since the start of lockdown to ensure one hour delivery of groceries from its stores. After three months of successful beta testing, Sixty60 launched in a few neighbourhoods in the Western Cape and Gauteng in late 2019. n“Covid-19 has seen a once-in-a-generation shift to online shopping in South Africa, and it’s a step change we believe is here to stay,” commented Neil Schreuder, chief of strategy and innovation for the Shoprite Group. “Since lockdown, order volumes have skyrocketed and Checkers rapidly expanded Sixty60 throughout the country to cater for the increased demand.” With more than 700 000 app downloads, Sixty60 will be expanding to 25 new areas, including the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, over the next two months. There are now more than 7,000 groceries to choose from on the Sixty60 app.

QUOTE of the week:

“Simply checking the government ordained check list retailers need to comply with in order to operate, won’t cut it. You need to go the extra mile in providing a shopping experience that is so safe that it actually creates a sense of comfort for the consumer. This extends beyond mandatory checks before entering a store, to the experience in the store itself. Most shopping experiences I have had thus far seem to operate on the premise that the entrance is a magical boundary. That with the blessing of a tired hand spritz and maybe a cursory temperature check, I am entering a Covid-free wonderland that doesn’t need to be controlled or policed, beyond stickers in the queuing line..” – Antonio Petra, FCB and Hellocomputer Joburg’s Group Executive of Strategy, Data and Insight, interviewed in RetailingAfrica.com.

 

*Stocktake is a weekly roundup of current FMCG retailing and brand news, curated and edited by Retailing Africa Publisher & Editor, Louise Burgers. Keep the industry updated and send your announcements and news to: news@retailingafrica.com.

 

Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.

 

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