RCI Bank and Services Positions Itself for Future Mobility

RCI Bank and Services grew its balance sheet to $46.6 billion, as compared to approximately $29 billion seven years ago, thanks — in part — to focusing its business model on mobility rather than just captive financing, Auto Finance News has learned.

Formerly known as Renault Crédit International, RCI Bank and Services is a France-based automotive captive, insurance company, and mobility service for the Renault group brands globally and for the Nissan group brands in Europe, Russia, and South America.

But over the past few years, the shift toward mobility services at RCI Bank and Services has increased, Alice Altemaire, vice president of Accounting and performance control, told Auto Finance News. The captive created a subsidiary called RCI Mobility to develop business-to-business carsharing operations, as well as many other mobility-related services in 2015; joined the R3 blockchain consortium in 2016; and acquired mobility services aggregate Karhoo in January 2017. Karhoo, in particular, will help further position RCI Bank and Services as a mobility provider, Altemaire said.

“We really wanted to bring a new strategy plan and reinvestment [to Karhoo],” Altemaire said. “We are rebuilding the platform and technologies that needed improvement,” and a large part of the mobility market within 10 years will be held by ride-hailing companies, she added.

Karhoo will be relaunched before yearend 2017 and will help open up RCI Bank and Services as a mobility-as-a-service provider, she said.

Further down the line, RCI Bank and Services will focus more on blockchain technology and online services, which will help not only position the company externally as a mobility provider but also improve the business internally. The captive altered its organizational structure in 2016 “in order to sustain the growth of the company, as well as to address new digital challenges and to support the development of its new projects,” the company said in a statement at the time.

“It’s a very exciting time for us because — like many captive banks — the business can seem quite traditional, but we are in the age of changing the business model and investing in innovation,” Altemaire said.

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