Uber and South Africa’s WesBank to launch car hire services for taxi drivers

San Francisco based transport network company, Uber has signed a $14 million (200 million rand) car rental agreement with leading South African vehicle and car insurance provider WesBank. A deal which will enable drivers who cant afford to buy cars, rent them by obtaining a vehicle lease, the companies said on Tuesday.

WesBank, which is an arm of South Africa’s third biggest bank, FirstRand will rent cars to Uber drivers who cannot access traditional car loans due to a lack of credit history. According to WesBank Chief Executive Chris de Kock, almost half of the total car loan applications in South Africa are declined. Therefore this development will not only boost Uber operations in South Africa, but also provide more employment opportunities for drivers in the southernmost country in Africa.

WesBank will recover the loan from the transport fares Uber drivers receive from passengers, lowering any chances of non-remittance. The amount these drivers will be paying back depends on their level of business. In line with obtaining the car hire services, FirstRand’s enterprise development group, Vumela will enlighten drivers on how to run their own businesses, and also provide cash to WesBank if the car loans are not paid. It will also finance 20 million rand for the first 1,000 cars, Uber said.

Uber launched in South Africa in August 2013 and operates in over 60 countries, with a total of 2 million rides in South Africa in the first six months of 2015, Uber said. However despite bans in Thailand, Netherlands, and Spain, protest in Slovakia and France, “Uber is launching into a new city every other day”, said Uber’s head of global expansion. With Uber’s presence in over 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide, its plan for world domination seems unstoppable.

In order to fight the concerns about driver selection, Uber operates a private security firm that conducts background safety inspections on all its drivers and calls references.Ventures Africa also highlighted some of the ways the rather controversial taxi service is addressing social issues in the Middle East.

What endears passengers to Uber apart from the ease of movement across different destinations, is that it is often more comfortable and customers can monitor the drivers on the maps of their smartphones as they approach their locations. Payments are not made directly; the transaction is done between Uber and the customers’ bank, enhancing the cashless policy for safety purposes.

Uber currently operates in two North African and seven Middle Eastern countries including, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Morocco .

The post Uber and South Africa’s WesBank to launch car hire services for taxi drivers appeared first on Ventures Africa.