Exactly 53 days ago, Carlos Gazaffi took over as CEO of the B2C division of Sem Parar, an automatic payment systems company, the so-called “tags”, tolls and parking lots. In the meantime, the executive had to adapt to the operation with the “car walking” and in accelerated gear.
In addition to Covid-19, another component explains this rush. Founded in 2000, Sem Parar had a free track for more than a decade to consolidate its dominance in the sector. However, in recent years, the arrival of rivals has forced the company out of its comfort zone.
In response, the company has been taking its tags beyond the gates. And now it is expanding this range with Sem Parar Pay, a system that allows the payment of toll fees, in manual cabins, by smartphone.
It is a prepaid service. The user loads the Sem Parar application with credits, according to their needs. With the balance available, the app logged in and the bluetooth of the active device, just approach the toll booth for payment to be recognized and carried out automatically.
“The big news is to give the tag in the user’s hand, through the smartphone”, says Gazaffi, to NeoFeed. Until then, all Sem Parar solutions necessarily involved labels installed on cars. “This feature opens up a set of possibilities that goes far beyond the vehicle itself.”
Launched on Monday, September 21, Sem Parar Pay started being tested in Rio Grande do Sul. Initially, the solution is being offered in all toll plazas managed by CCR Via Sul in the state.
The plan is to capture more consistent results before extending the tool’s reach. The expansion, which is expected to gain momentum in 2021, will not only involve other regions, but also other formats operated by Sem Parar.
In addition to 100% of toll roads, the company covers more than 650 gas stations; more than 1,400 parking lots for shopping malls, airports and shopping centers; and 150 car washes in 15 states. This base also includes 500 drive thrus, through partnerships with McDonald’s, Habib’s and Ragazzo chains.
In the growth plan, however, the idea is to monitor the “traffic” of customers and not just vehicles. “We are building the possibility to expand the connection for other reasons of use,” says Gazaffi. “Not everyone has a car. But today, it is difficult for someone who does not have a cell phone. ”
For Edson Santos, one of the main specialists in payment methods in the country, the movement is positive. “Sem Parar still largely dominates the tag market, but this revenue is limited,” he says. “By extending the use of the wallet to the cell phone, they are expanding the market that they can reach.”
With 3.5 million users in the country – considering the corporate division, there are 5.5 million customers – who handled R $ 13 billion in transactions in 2019, Sem Parar is also investing in new models of access to its services.
“We are creating options for intermittent users to continue growing our base,” says Gazaffi. This month, the company launched two plans. The first is prepaid and allows the driver to load credits according to his needs. The subscription fee is R $ 20 and recharges start at R $ 50.
In the second model, called Flex in the City, there is also no recurring monthly fee. The driver pays a fee of R $ 15.90 only in the months when using the service in urban centers. However, there is a fee of R $ 9.90 if the tag is not used in a 90-day period.
Sem Parar’s B2C division has 3.5 million users in the country, which handled R $ 13 billion in transactions in 2019
These and other efforts are based on competitive strategies. Supported by strong shareholders, Sem Parar’s rivals have been trying to attract users with practices such as offering plans that exempt monthly fees in the first twelve months.
This is the case of ConectCar, which arrived on the market in 2013, has the Ultra group and Itaú Unibanco as partners, and a base of around 500 thousand users.
The business unit of Alelo, a benefits company controlled by Bradesco and Banco do Brasil, Veloe, in operation since 2018, has also been investing heavily in this direction. Another name is C6 Bank, which shipped C6 Taggy in their accounts, with no membership fee, monthly fee or annual fee.
Questioned by NeoFeed on the advance of rivals, Gazaffi says that Sem Parar prefers to look “inside the house”. In this context, the executive’s view on the evolution of the result of the operation is positive.
The company is controlled by the American Fleetcor, which bought the operation in 2016, for R $ 1.6 billion. Sem Parar represents about 20% of the group’s local revenue, which earned US $ 174.1 million (about R $ 900 million) in the country in the first half, down 16.8% over the same period in 2019.
According to Gazaffi, in this interval, Sem Parar recorded a 3% growth in revenue and also in the user base. “Our expectation is to close the year with a growth of 7%”, says the executive. “Which is a very positive performance, especially given the context of the pandemic.”
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