Automobile Association (AA) acquires 30% stake in mobility security app CASi
The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has the interests of consumers at the heart of everything it does. In this regard, the Association has diversified its services to provide the most comprehensive mobility services and solutions to the public.
The AA is cognisant that being stranded on the side of the road poses great security concerns to motorists and has, over the past three years, being working closely with CASi as a core service provider to mitigate against these security concerns through the provision of effective security solutions. With its partnership with CASi, the AA has advanced its offering to remove the focus from the vehicle to providing a more comprehensive service to the person. This offering, of which CASi forms an integral part, is an advancement of the AA’s services and, critically, has resulted in an improved offering to Members.
Today the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) announces that it has acquired a 30 percent equity stake in the mobile security service CASi as part of its 2030 strategy to diversify and enhance its offering.
The Vision 2030 strategy of the AA is supported by five pillars:
- Providing conventional roadside assistance, AA armed response services, and emergency medical response services,
- Providing financial services through short-term insurance and the provision of warranties and life assurance products,
- The expansion of the AA Auto Centre network and the promotion of the AA Technical College as a vehicle for job creation and providing opportunities for specifically unemployed youth,
- Through the innovative application and implementation of technology (through, for instance, the provision of services such as the AA Connected Environment, and Internet of Things devices), and,
- The provision of quality travel services.
CASi is a personalised security app that offers immediate security service provision at the push of a button. CASi is the abbreviation of Calling All Stations Immediately.
The security services offered through CASi can be accessed through in-app digital services available on the AA’s mobile app or through a direct download of the AA Armed Response app in the Huawei App Gallery, on the iOS App Store, or the Android Play Store. The armed security service can also be used through GSM propositions in the Rem-i Range (Rem-i Amica or Rem-i WASP devices) and gives users access more than 200 armed security service providers throughout South Africa. Through location-based technology, the nearest security service provider to the user’s location is dispatched to provide armed security. The AA is proud that it can provide these services to a person regardless of their geographical location by utilising this technology.
Users can activate the service at home, at their offices, in their vehicles, while at public venues (such as shopping malls or at outside events) or even at schools. The service is available to AA Members at discounted rates, and to non-Members at affordable cost. This removes the focus from the vehicle to the person and is another part of the AA’s quest to provide diversified services to the market.
The AA is proud to be associated with CASi which was the first company in South Africa to provide armed security services through digital service aggregation of armed security service providers.
“We’ve essentially been in the mobile response business throughout our 92-year history – people on the road need help, call us, and we assist them – so this is a natural extension of the services we offer. Three years ago we added security services through CASi to our roadside and emergency medical response solutions, an addition which strengthens our offering to Members. Buying a significant stake in CASi shows our commitment to the business and the service they provide and underscores our trust in a product that can genuinely mean the difference between life and death,” says Mr Willem Groenewald, AA CEO.
Mr Groenewald says the AA’s share in CASi is an indication of the Association’s growing investment in strategic technology partnerships and shows the Association’s commitment to making technology the backbone of its service offering to Members.
“The goal of this transaction was to create a strategic alignment between the businesses (CASi and the AA) both on a technology front and through the services offered. This deal positions the AA at the forefront of mobile security service provision and enables CASi to work with a partner who understands the value of investing in technology where it matters,” says Mr Jaco de Villiers, CASi Managing Director.
Mr de Villers says the combination of the AA’s membership of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), its local presence as the country’s premier roadside assistance provider, and CASi’s ongoing investment in developing high quality technologies, opens great opportunities for both companies.
“We were the first company to provide mobile panic solutions in South Africa and we pride ourselves on being innovative and forward-thinking. The AA is a similar company which is always looking for new avenues to enhance Member benefits. This partnership will take both our businesses to new heights and offer South Africans a product which is truly unique and, most importantly, extremely useful,” says Mr de Villiers.
Mr Groenewald says another key factor in the AA’s decision was that the current resources of both companies, and the ability of both to make important decisions quickly, will allow for continuous improvements to the service without the burden of added staff or infrastructure investments.
We want to provide our Members with the best services and benefits in the market and it’s critical that we partner with like-minded companies who are innovative and driven by technology to ensure this, all at affordable cost to consumers. Our partnership with CASi is a vital element of our strategy into the future to make this happen,” concludes Mr Groenewald.
Mr Willem Groenewald
Automobile Association of South Africa
Automobile Association of South Africa
Mr Jaco de Villiers