All the interviews, articles and blogs to do with Simon Debono, Chief Marketing Officer at eCabs, on the eCabs website will fall under this tag.


Simon Debono multi-modality

eCabs sees multi-modality as the future for Malta

CMO at eCabs Simon Debono recently spoke to about the state of the cab market in Malta and the importance of multi-modality.

There are at least 10 ride-hailing businesses in Malta now. Being a locally established company that preceded the mobility services and is thriving in it, how has the growing competition impacted and transformed your company? If an 11th or even 12th service sets up do you notice any impact anymore?

Competition is always healthy. It keeps you on your toes and forces you to be the best you can be. When Bolt entered the market back in 2017 it forced the company to accelerate the transformation that had already started. eCabs back then and eCabs today are two completely different animals.

Our growth has not subsided either. Be it from a product transformation perspective, our ambitions, or our growth in local volumes. I don’t see that changing, even if others attempt to enter the market.

Do you think supply in Malta has started to outpace demand and that the market is saturated with ride-hailing and taxi services?

Market saturation is a market decision. We’ve seen ride-hailing apps appear and disappear and we’re pretty sure we’ll keep seeing the same thing happening. You mentioned a number of ride-hailing businesses in Malta. New York has about 10 in a city with a population just under 19 million. To put to scale, Malta has around one ride-hailing service per 50,000 people. New York has around one ride-hailing service per 1.9 million people.

Through your company’s efforts to internationalise in 2023, what key differences are you coming across from a regulatory framework compared to Malta? Is there something in Malta’s regulation that is encouraging a still-growing quantity of services?

Over 13 years we’ve been through multiple cycles of regulation. Today we have a liberalised market and treat every player, new or otherwise, with the required respect. What we have been through over these years gives us the invaluable experience to set foot in new jurisdictions. The industry is in its infancy, so legislation is being shaped the world over and varies considerably from one to the other depending on the market maturity.

What do you expect the market to look like a few years from now, with more or fewer ride-hailing services?

We believe that the future will give us a consolidation of a few strong brands in the local market, especially considering the size of the market. But we also believe that not enough is being done to discuss what the future should look like. We strongly advocate for the country to make the necessary efforts to push for multi-modality. Not enough is being done. It is a narrative we have been advocating for years now and is a future that needs to be designed. It is not just going to fall from a tree on our laps.

We absolutely support and applaud initiatives that include other forms of mobility, however, the necessary infrastructure is needed. It is pointless beating around the bush and having wool consistently pulled over our eyes.

We need a network that connects villages with more than asphalt for cars. An infrastructural framework needs to be designed which enables scooters, bicycles, and walking, to be coupled with buses and ride-hailing / sharing. It is totally non-existent right now, and so we keep drowning in our clogged roads and fumes.

You can read the full article on multi-modality on

eCabs Circle

eCabs Circle celebrates 70,000 members

eCabs Circle, the unique, app-based reward programme, launched in late 2020 by Maltese ride-hailing platform eCabs, now has 70,000 members and is growing at an increasing rate. The programme, which is open to all eCabs customers, converts the amount spent on fares into points in ever-increasing amounts. They are then converted into free rides. Through eCabs Circle, customers are now enjoying over 1,000 free rides per week.

Describing the reasons behind the launch of eCabs Circle, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer Simon Debono said, “In a commoditised and highly competitive global mobility market, we needed to increase brand stickiness.  So, we designed a system to enhance customer loyalty through a tiered system that promotes usage and rewards to our highest-value customers based on the quantity of rides and actual spend. Developing this programme is also an important learning curve for our international ambitions, to facilitate market penetration strategies.”

“While, so far, our most loyal eCabs Circle members have been able to enjoy up to one in every seven rides for free, the success of this project is encouraging us to further develop the product and deliver additional benefits. For example, points could be converted into value for other modes of transport. This would promote the concept of multimodality which is much needed in Malta and many other cities around the world,” continued Debono.

The eCabs Circle app

The eCabs Circle platform is accessible through the eCabs App, giving each user full view of their status in points and rides. eCabs created the platform, while Yegertek – a Dubai-based company specialising in customer engagement and loyalty tech solutions – developed it. Yegertek’s Engage365-A Microsoft CRM based loyalty solutions have empowered several customer-facing enterprises like eCabs to maximise the efficacy of their engagement strategies.

Sajid Azmi, Founder and CEO of Yegertek, said, “The pandemic certainly accelerated the digitisation of customer engagement and loyalty. Companies like eCabs who understood this and acted now have a definite competitive advantage. Success demands that your strategies are agile, efficient and, most importantly, people centric. These will remain our focus as we continue to support eCabs in growing their business internationally.”

Kerstin Rizzo, eCabs Chief Programmes Officer added, “Since eCabs already runs on Microsoft Dynamics 365, we approached several Microsoft partners who specialise in reward schemes. We ultimately selected Yegertek as they met our extensive requirements, integrated well with our technology team, and displayed the willingness to further develop the product based on our design.” 

In the press:

The Malta Independent | The Malta Business Weekly


eCabs’ service becomes even safer, more personal

eCabs has launched four new cab categories within its mobile App. This will help customers make better and easier choices and improve the user experience when booking their mobility requirements.

The four options are Eco, Pets, Booster Seat and Assist. The options will contribute to an even safer and more comfortable customer experience. This within a faster and simpler booking process through the App, or all other booking channels.

Additionally, in line with eCabs’ ambitious electric vehicles project, customers may now easily opt for a 100% electric or hybrid vehicle. Clients may do this through the Eco option within the App. Furthermore, they can also book a cab with a booster seat for their little travellers. They can also opt for eCabs Assist whenever they need a little extra help and special assistance from trained drivers. This is in line with eCabs’ Passenger Safety Charter standards.

Clients wishing to travel with their pets may also order a cab easily. While eCabs has been pet friendly for over five years, the in-app experience and booking flow has now been much improved.

A safer, more reliable and pleasant user experience

“These new categories aim at providing more personalisation that offers a safer, more reliable and pleasant user experience. Our design and development team is consistently hard at work to improve our product offering for a more intuitive and seamless user experience,” says Simon Debono, eCabs’ Chief Officer for Marketing and Business Development.

This move follows eCabs’ recently announced project that will see it run entirely on green vehicles by 2025. It also builds on its commitment to offer more choice with their growing number of partner drivers which can be booked through the eCabs Go category in-App. Partner drivers are also incentivised to go Green through more favourable terms.

“These four new categories define the eCabs brand as a more sustainable and all-inclusive one. One which seeks to constantly improve the customer experience. This is one of many more improvements that we will be seeing this year as we keep on consolidating our platform in preparation for our long-term ambitions,” concluded Simon Debono.

In the press:

eCabs Rebrand

eCabs Rebrand

Along with the brand strategy, the eCabs rebrand has explored the way the brand’s visual identity worked alongside its principles.

school transport

eCabs sets new safety and comfort standards in school transport

The mobility company is committed to delivering a safe, professional and comfortable service dedicated to the school run.

eCabs is adding school transport as a new service line to its mobility solutions portfolio.

Putting safety, professionalism and comfort first, the company says that the service, with a fleet of highly sanitised vehicles dedicated to the school run, was very well received by parents.

“Once again we are raising the bar. We are humbled by the response of the parents who chose to trust their children in eCabs’ hands. This confirms the high regard that already exists about our health and safety standards, says Simon Debono, Chief Marketing Officer at eCabs.

“Unlike traditional school runs, we are also offering the service of collection and drop-off outside the children’s home. Rather than the usual meeting-point, this translates not only into more convenience but even more safety for the children to remain within the proximity of their home until picked up.”

eCabs’ fleet procedures include an intensive sanitisation process. All drivers are also equipped with disinfectant sprays and wipes to constantly sanitise all high touch areas within the vehicle.

Each vehicle is taking fewer children than the maximum capacity. This is done to avoid overcrowding, improving safety and respecting social distancing provisions within the van. 8-seater vans are carrying up to 6 children, while 16 seaters are limiting the number of passengers to 11.

The drivers have been given specialised one-to-one training related to the varying guidelines and requirements of the different schools. Attendance is being taken to further ensure the safety and tracing of the children on each trip.

“As a parent, I know all too well that when it comes to school transport, we want the peace of mind that our children are on time for school and back home afterwards in the safest hands possible,” added Mr Debono.

In the press:

Who’s Who | Lovin Malta


eCabs acquires Elegance Chauffeur Drive

The leading mobility company eCabs has embarked on its next stage of growth through its first acquisition in the local market of Malta. It is strengthening its executive and luxury service offer with the acquisition of Elegance Chauffeur Drive.

The deal includes the integration of Elegance’s core team, as well as its extensive fleet of premium vehicles. Thus, it will bolster eCabs’ existing executive and luxury offering both in terms of numbers and service execution. This will make eCabs the largest luxury transport service provider on the island.

Elegance Chauffeur Drive was established in 2017. It focuses on the premium segment, having built itself into one of Malta’s leading chauffeur providers. It has serviced leading personalities such as royalty, celebrities and VIPs alike, with a steadfast and consistent detail-oriented approach.

According to Matthew Bezzina, CEO of eCabs:

“This move is in line with our long-term growth strategy, which includes a planned string of mobility acquisitions. We have a clear and unflinching vision of transformation. From a multi-channel ride-hailing platform, to an end-to-end technology logistics and multimodality company. Through our acquisitions programme we now aim to consolidate the local market and integrate our offering to provide the highest level of services with the most competitive rates on the island. Our ambitions for internationalisation remain firmly in our sights. The local acquisitions will enable us to go to the international market with a uniquely strong offering.”

Taking eCabs’ luxury service to new levels with one of the leading chauffeur companies in Malta

Simon Debono, eCabs’ Chief Officer Marketing & Business Development added:

“This acquisition is a clear reflection of our commitment to keep investing and strengthening our position in the market, in this case with dedicated attention to the premium segment. We are delighted to on-board the exceptional Elegance Chauffeur team within the eCabs team. Together, we shall be taking our luxury and premium service to new levels, matching the highest international standards.” 

eCabs has ramped up its capital investments in 2020 with a clear long-term strategy. This included investment in an extension of its head office in St Julian’s. As well as a significant investment in the growth of its technology team which houses its team members in Malta, Turkey and Belarus. 

“Despite the hit dealt by Covid-19, we have kept our focus on growth, expansion into new verticals and the optimisation of our operations. We are now at a stage wherein we shall take the company to the next level with confidence and a passion to enhance mobility on our islands and beyond” added Matthew Bezzina.

In the press:

The Times of Malta | | The Malta Independent

COVID-19 guidelines

eCabs implements fully new mandatory COVID-19 guidelines

eCabs, Malta’s leading passenger transport provider, has implemented fully the latest set of mandatory Covid-19 guidelines. The guidelines were issued for cab and taxi operators by the public health authorities over the last days.

eCabs has not only ensured it is fully compliant to the published guidelines but has also extended its passenger and driver safety standards to ensure that their health is given the highest level of priority.

The new Covid-19 guidelines include amongst others, mandatory masks to be worn by both drivers and passengers who should not be allowed to board the vehicle unless they are wearing a face mask. To help with this directive, eCabs are now also selling disposable face masks in-vehicle. 

“We’ve been keeping our fingers on the pulse since day one of this public health emergency, following the health authorities’ recommendations and updating our operations accordingly. We have also sought international best practice in our sector and acted on our own initiative to strengthen our safety measures, such as the installation of a dividing perspex screen between driver and passenger.  These matters are taken very seriously, not only for the safety of our passengers but also for that of our own drivers,” said Simon Debono, Chief Marketing Officer of eCabs.

“I believe it is important for everyone to work together to stem this situation and do their part so that normality returns as soon as possible, whatever shape that may be. I’d like to urge our passengers to collaborate with us in respecting these measures in everyone’s interest,” he added, mentioning that eCabs has also been encouraging payments to be effected through credit cards in the App to reduce cash handling.

COVID-19 guidelines; going beyond what is mandatory

A vehicle ventilation policy has also been adopted in response to these new guidelines and with a view of the rising temperatures. These include the air recycler to be turned off at all times and  windows to be left ajar for better ventilation. The air conditioning filters are also being treated with viral disinfectant as part of a wider, daily in-vehicle sanitisation procedure which has been in effect since the first week of March. This includes extensive steaming and cleaning using the same disinfectant which possesses long residual action.

“Our Covid-19 policies are kept consistently updated on our website. Anyone riding with us can be sure that we are doing our best and going beyond what is mandatory. We are doing our utmost to make sure that in these challenging times everyone can get from point to point with peace of mind and in the safest manner possible,” concluded Simon Debono.

In the press:

The Times of Malta | The Malta Independent