SBI ties up with Uber to provide would-be drivers loans

State Bank of India has tie-up with taxi-aggregator service Uber to provide instant vehicle finance to 'driver-partners' on the latter's platform.

The scheme would encourage skilled drivers to overcome lack of finances and excessive documentation requirements to become an entrepreneur.

The loans could be sanctioned in one day using an inbuilt digital offering, and would be collateral-free as well as carry a very competitive interest rate.

All loans will be covered under the government's Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Scheme, SBI said in a statement.

"The on-demand transportation segment growth has created a whole new ecosystem enabling lakhs of Indians to earn a livelihood by becoming micro-entrepreneurs on such platforms," SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said.

"In the process, it has also opened up a new world of opportunities for the banking industry," she said, adding that one has to go beyond traditional banking to leverage such opportunities.

SBI managing director Rajnish Kumar said the new facility would enable drivers to apply for loans at the Uber Partner Centre and get loans sanctioned in one day.

"This is supported by our digitally integrated back-end system, thereby eliminating the long processing time. The partnership with Uber will also help us simplify the documentation requirements thereby eliminating traditional financial statements like income tax returns," Kumar said.

Further, he said the product is in-line with SBI's focus on building a risk mitigated portfolio, which is aimed at significantly improving the customer experience.

Uber is present across 27 cities in the country, more than any other country outside the US.

"India is a global market priority for such a short span of time, we've got over 2,50,000 driver partners on our platform who have become micro-entrepreneurs today," Uber Asia Pacific president Eric Alexander said.

The tie-up with SBI would create tens of thousands of micro entrepreneurs, he added.

SBI further said it is exploring opportunities with Uber, including a special scheme for the army men who intend to drive on the Uber platform.

Uber India had partnered with the Army Welfare Placement Organisation (AWPO) under the Ministry of Defence to help ex-servicemen transition to civilian life and provide them with entrepreneurial opportunities.