© Reuters. Itaú uses toll tag for vehicles as a strategy to retain customers
In the increasingly fierce war to keep and win customers, Itaú Unibanco (SA:) is adopting yet another weapon. In partnership with ConectCar, a company in which it holds half of the capital, the bank announced the launch of Tag Itaú. The sticker, which allows automatic passage through all toll booths and over a thousand parking lots in the country, will be offered without a monthly fee to its approximately 60 million customers – and also to anyone who wants to have a relationship with the bank. The offer will start with the institution’s credit card customers and, by the end of the year, it will be available to everyone, including those in the Iti digital operation. Exemption in services of this kind, for part or all of the clients, had already been a strategy used by Itaú, as well as by some of its competitors, such as Bradesco (SA:), C6 Bank and Inter (SA:) , who work alongside other technology partners such as Veloe and Greenpass.
For the partner-director of the industrial area of the Roland Berger Brasil consultancy, Marcus Ayres, this is an area that the financial sector will have to compete with ever more fervently, since tollbooths and parking lots are just the “tip of the iceberg” in regarding what it is possible to charge through a tag. Ayres recalls that Sem Parar, the segment leader, has even signed partnerships with McDonald’s to use its drive-thru service.
For Itaú, it is a change in the way of looking at the ConectCar service itself, which becomes less independent and more of a tool to please the bank’s customer. “It’s a different way of looking at this investment that we made years ago in ConectCar”, the director and member of the executive committee of Itaú Unibanco Alexandre Zancani admitted yesterday.
Now, instead of bringing in revenue from the sale of magnetic stickers that allow automatic payment of tolls and parking, Tag Itaú will contribute to retaining customers and generating more engagement. “It’s a change in the business model for Itaú,” said Zancani, who hopes to see the bank start to gain “with greater linkage and sales of other products.”
As a result, most of the fee for the tag service will come from the bank, and no longer from end customers. “ConectCar now has the cost of acquiring customers practically zeroed, and is remunerated by Itaú”, said the company’s president, Felix Cardamone.
According to him, the investments that enabled the company to gain scale have already been made, and the new model, which will expand its base exponentially, will only accelerate returns. According to Roland Berger’s Ayres, as the payment tag service became popular, the “barrier to entry” of new competitors in the industry has eased.
Thus, today there are services that have tolls and parking lots as their core business (such as Sem Parar), companies that have banks as partners (such as Veloe and ConectCar) and also startups ready to offer the entire technological operation of the offer to third parties (Greenpass).
Conect Car will continue to offer its service packages to those who do not have a relationship with Itaú Unibanco, but before reviewing its business model with the partner and launching Tag Itaú, it made a corporate rearrangement. In place of the Ultra group (SA:), which held the other half of the capital, Porto Seguro (SA:) joined. The operation is still awaiting the approval of authorities and, according to Cardamone, once the replacement in the capital is approved, it is expected that Porto, which is a leader in the auto insurance segment, will also launch facilities for its customers with the tag.
The information is from the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.