On October 30th, 2018, BRAC Bank and Pathao signed an agreement, the first collaborative rider financing in the country, to finance motorbikes for Pathao riders. Pathao has been working on bike financing for a while now in different forms. Previous financing initiatives were more on the side of improving bike liquidity. This time it looks more like a financing service. This could be considered as the second stage of Pathao’s attempt at building financial services.
With its partnership with BRAC Bank, Pathao is helping its bikers to get finance for buying motorbikes. From the press release sent after the agreement:
“BRAC Bank Limited and Pathao Limited signed an agreement to finance motorbikes for riders. This is the first collaborative rider financing in the country involving a bank and a ride-sharing company. Under the agreement, BRAC Bank will provide loans to Pathao riders. The easy access to financing will help Pathao increase its pool of bikers and provide more convenience to the commuters. The collaborative financing will also help generate employment, especially among Bangladesh's youth.”
This is not something unique to Pathao. Companies with a similar operational model have been doing it for many years. For example, Amazon. The question for Pathao, however, would be when it begins to move away from promo codes and start making money out of its ride business, would it still make sense for bikers to ride for Pathao and what are the corrections going to take place once that happens. For now, this is an intriguing development.