Taxi hailing service, Uber has partnered with Kenya's Sidian Bank to provide car loans to its most experienced drivers and they hope the model can be rolled out to all its countries of operation within Africa in the coming days.
Sidian Bank for their part in the deal will be offering up to 100% car loan financing, with a maximum amount of KES1.5 million (US$ 14,700).
The deal might appear to be a laudable one for Uber as Sidian Bank is part of Kenya’s biggest listed investments group Centum Investment. However, there seems to be more to the deal to suggest how both parties intend to play hard before drivers can access these loans. While Sidian bank will collect customer satisfaction data from Uber and use it to determine whether the drivers will get access to relatively cheaper loans to buy their own cars, Uber on the other hand is setting a minimum of 500 trips, along with an average passenger rating of at least 4.6 points out of 5. According to the bank, this way, they hope to identify the best performing drivers in order to give them access to the loan service.
Speaking on their plan to spread to other African countries Uber Kenya‘s Acting General Manager, Nate Anderson said “it makes sense to implement similar programs for all of these countries that we are going into in Africa.”
Given the inflexible nature of accessing this loan, I hold reservation concerning the successful implementation of the service in Kenya and Africa at large. But it might be too early to conclude on anything, only time will tell.