Tech tipping point – Ukheshe enables petrol attendant tipping at Engen

New technology often seems fantastic on paper yet has little impact in the life of the average person. A new tipping solution for fuel pump attendants, however, does both.

When asked to fill up a fuel tank as motorists do in the movies, few South Africans would know what to do beyond pulling their tank lever from inside the car. Fuel station attendants are as much a part of our culture as braais and ‘howzit’.

And yet, a BusinessTech poll of over 7000 respondents in 2018 showed that 37% of motorists don’t tip pump attendants.

Engen aims to change this with its new ‘Tip an Attendant’ function. Ukheshe technologies, Telkom and Engen have collaborated to create the QR solution which allows motorists to tip attendants and cashiers for efficient service by simply scanning a QR code using their Engen 1app or any payment app that supports Masterpass QR payments.

Real solutions for real people


When a petrol attendant’s QR code is scanned, and a tip is made it automatically is deposited into a Telkom Pay digital wallet. This digital wallet allows the attendant to either withdraw the money from Pick ‘n Pay, a CashExpress ATM or purchase airtime, data and other VAS services. They can also purchase goods at any merchant that supports QR code payments or any e-commerce store using a virtual card. The app utilises Eclipse, Ukheshe’s ready-to-use enablement platform.

Fuel pump attendants and Quickshop cashiers will be assigned a lanyard with a personal QR code. After registering for a Telkom Pay Wallet through WhatsApp, they can start receiving tips from customers paying on the Engen 1app.

“One reason for the poor tipping rates for pump attendants is that people often simply don’t have cash on hand to do so,” says Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe Technologies. “This solves that problem – for both the attendant who relies on a tip to supplement their income, and the mortified motorist who is digging around for cash in their car.”

According to wage data from Indeed and PayScale, petrol stations employ around 70,000 people across the country, with many pump attendants earning under R30 per hour. With many South Africans now favouring contactless payment methods due to the pandemic, attendants’ only means of increasing their income – through cash tips – is diminishing.

‘’We’re delighted to continue to build our relationship with Telkom and broaden the reach of the Eclipse API in a meaningful way.” Engen’s 1app offers a safer customer service experience, as there is no touching of devices, cards or cash required. You will also no longer need to carry cash or cards to make your fuel purchases, and loyalty points will automatically be registered with Engen’s respective loyalty partners, Clicks Clubcard and FNB eBucks,” says Seelan Naidoo, Engen’s General Manager: Retail.

Into the future


In June this year, Telkom also launched Africa’s first Mastercard virtual card for use on WhatsApp, again utilising Ukheshe’s Eclipse API. It enables Telkom Pay customers to make e-commerce payments without a physical card. Engen employees will also have access to this functionality, as well as the full range of Telkom Pay innovations.

The Engen and Telkom partnership, powered by Ukheshe, is just one step in our march towards the digital financial economy of the future – one that will empower millions of people, including those without bank accounts, to access the digital economy and transact online.

Engen’s vision is to extend the ‘Tip an Attendant’ solution outside the Engen environment, enabling its customers to use the Engen 1app to tip anyone that provides great service – whether a car guard or a waiter, says Naidoo.

Telkom Financial Services Managing Executive Sibusiso Ngwenya says the company is thrilled to be on board. “I believe it’s a sentiment we all share as South Africans – that great service deserves to be rewarded. We’ve seen many a story on social media about someone in the service industry going above and beyond. They deserve to have the favour returned, and now, there is an easier means to do so.”

Adds Hayward: “We are thrilled to assist Telkom and Engen in making such new, innovative products possible. As a leading fintech enablement partner, Ukheshe has always aims to create a more inclusive digital financial ecosystem and improve financial access – and this is just one of the ways we’re doing so.”

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