Uber driver loans from Sidian, Stanbic hit 500


Driver tests a car bought under Uber-Sidian partnership. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Centum-owned Sidian Bank and Stanbic Bank have advanced loans to more than 500 Uber drivers under their respective partnerships with the taxi-hailing company.

Stanbic confirmed that 350 drivers have acquired their own vehicles over the seven-month period after the lender inked a loan deal to help drivers acquire Suzuki Alto vehicles.

Uber partnered with local Suzuki dealer CMC earlier in the year to import the small, low fuel consumption vehicles for the cheaper Chap Chap service the US-based tech company offers.

Stanbic Bank financed drivers with high ratings to own the vehicles within three years.

Sidian, on the other hand, indicated in a report that it had disbursed 150 loans for the year ended March 2018, an increase from the 138 loans indicated by the Centum subsidiary in September last year through the model that is dependent on driver ratings.

“Sidian Bank has partnered with Uber in a Sh10 billion Vehicle Solutions Programme that gives entrepreneurs convenient and affordable access to quality vehicles. To date, Sidian Bank has supported over 150 Uber driver-partners to acquire their own vehicles,” said Centum in its recent annual report.

Sidian, however, declined to disclose the number of loans disbursed since March to date citing confidentiality concerns.

Stanbic and Uber originally partnered to advance loans to drivers looking to own taxis through a facility that guarantees full financing.

The loan attracts a 14 per cent interest per annum within a period of three years.

READ: Uber in Sh10 billion financing deal with Sidian Bank

Sidian’s deal with Uber in June 2016 was aimed at disbursing 200 loans of up to Sh1.5 million at concessional rates to drivers with high performance and customer satisfaction ratings.

Eligible drivers must have completed at least 500 trips with Uber and have an average passenger rating score of at least 4.6 points out of the total of five marks. The car loans are charged an interest rate of 10.5 per cent per annum, which is lower than the capped rate of 14 per cent offered by all commercial banks.

The finance sector players have been leveraging on the availability of digital data in the taxi app industry to track viability of drivers with respect to awarding loans.

According to Uber, the firm currently has more than 6,000 active driver-partners in Kenya.

Sidian Bank has been forging partnerships in different sectors to grow its loan book including the healthcare segment.

The lender and MedicalCredit Fund entered into a Sh2 billion deal for private healthcare service providers to purchase or maintain medical equipment and expand their facilities.

To date, Sidian stated in its annual report that it has partnered with more than 400 medical service providers and disbursed over Sh900 million in medical credit facilities.