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SMEs get streamlined online car-hire

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Europcar SA has launched the Business Connect online booking system that is designed to streamline the car booking process for small and medium sized businesses.

Europcar SA has launched car-rental options for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that streamlines and simplifies the process through an online booking system called Business Connect.

We’re thrilled to release a product for South Africa’s often-neglected SME sector,” says Europcar SA COO Martin Lydall. “We take SME businesses seriously and want them to enjoy all the benefits they should. The potential of SMEs as a major growth engine for SA’s economy is close to our hearts. That’s the origin of our business and the Imperial Group, of which we’re part. That energetic, entrepreneurial culture is still very much present in in Europcar SA today.

Our new Business Connect tool gives SMEs better and simpler control over costs and logistics when they need staff to travel and drive their business growth.

Business Connect makes booking and paying for car-rental easier and safer for both SME owners and staff, with a streamlined online booking service indicating real-time rental availability.

There are three keys to fast-tracking advantages when collecting the rental car:

First, no queuing, thanks to Europcar’s Ready Service at all major airports.

Second, no time wasted signing paperwork.

Third, collecting the rental car using only a valid driver’s licence. No personal or company credit-card needs to be produced – previously a major barrier to uptake of car-rental in this market.

Another payoff for the SME owner is better business practice, with Business Connect becoming an all-in-one time-management and payment solution,” says Lydall. “We understand how business owners are often very much stretched, since they have to multi-task as managing director, financial director, sales, marketing and HR executives.

We believe SMEs deserve a service traditionally reserved in SA only for corporates, larger businesses and government departments. That includes enjoying all our usual products – plus a lower, preferential business rate and electronic invoices and statements to meet business need for financial control and management.

Guidelines for joining Business Connect are fairly flexible to allow for SMEs’ highly variable structures. SMEs should have:

“Only when applying for Business Connect must the SME owner make a credit card available,” says Lydall. “Rentals are automatically billed to the one approved credit card, but it doesn’t need to be produced when a rental car is collected or returned.

Once signed up to Business Connect, the SME owners receive a login and password to create their own business profile so that they can manage both their own and employees’ bookings.

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