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Why Should Auto Lenders be Going Digital?

The auto loan paperwork and manual procedures have steadily been replaced with technology-based processes over several years. However, everything has changed in the last year. Digital solutions have gone from “nice to have” to “essential” for both dealers and lenders after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Two-thirds of automobile purchasers questioned stated they were more inclined to buy a vehicle entirely online. Franchise and independent dealers both said that they now had digital retailing solutions in place, a sign of how rapidly the industry has caught on.

While these technological solutions assist in keeping customers and dealership staff safe, they also slow down the process of closing sales. Loan providers may use digital retailing technologies to launch a contact-free browsing process that can transform non-qualified purchasers into pre-approved, contract-ready customers for their dealer partners.

Understandably, eContracting is a logical next step in the transaction process when dealerships use digital retailing technologies to conduct deals digitally and remotely. Today’s consumers enjoy the convenience of a contactless transaction.

eSignatures and digitized loans are only the beginning

Until lately, digitization has been reluctant to take hold in the car finance market. Electronic signatures in the global and national commerce act (ESIGN) and the uniform electronic transactions act (UETA) are two pieces of legislation that have been in effect for more than two decades that provide legal legitimacy to digital procedures like eSignatures.

However, finance and insurance (F&I) stakeholders were used to manual, face-to-face procedures, from loan originators through dealers to customers. Many companies wanted to minimize the dangers of change and ease into digital transformation incrementally instead.

Participants had to adapt to new business practices when a worldwide epidemic struck. As a result of government regulations, merchants are no longer allowed to conduct transactions in person. Convenience for consumers was a top priority. eSignatures, remote F&I, and other digital procedures were soon adopted by both lenders and dealers.

The upshot was an 80/20 hybrid process is now, more often than not, an 80/20 digital/analog one. Finance and insurance (F&I) management may use online technologies for eSignatures, and document delivery may be used by finance and insurance (F&I) management. Salespeople can now manage digital F&I at select dealerships.

“Starting digital and staying digital” is the ultimate goal of successful eContracting systems. The benefits are plain to see:

  • Faster and more precise loan application processing
  • Enhancing the consumer experience by reducing friction
  • The prospect of increased sales volume

Taking advantage of the industry’s current momentum

Those who have made the switch to digital car finance are in a solid position to benefit from the industry’s resurgence. U.S. retail sales of new vehicles and light trucks are predicted to exceed 1.26 million units in March 2021, an increase of 53 percent over the previous year. Sales of light vehicles as a whole were estimated at 16.4 million units on a seasonally adjusted annualized (SAAR) basis.

Organizations will gain an injection of money via car purchases from the data because of a lack of supply on the market. Managing a weak economy and minimizing losses were top priorities for lenders and dealers in 2020. They will focus on volume in the future, where computerized procedures will be a huge help.

The way ahead is to connect corporate strategy with technology

One-size-fits-all solutions are speculative since lenders have different financing methods and corporate aims. There’s a lot of room for digital strategies tailored to a lender’s business objectives and available resources. Technology partners can help lenders enhance their operations, create the online experience that customers have grown to expect, and deepen dealer connections via better service, all with the correct technology.

Preparing for the new environment

Amidst all the uncertainty, no firm will escape undamaged from the new auto financing environment. As a result, it is essential for everyone involved to consider what the new dynamics imply for them.

Companies must become more adaptable to keep up with the rapid changes in the environment. Digital projects need a new department or task force inside the corporation, such as incubators. Suppose this department establishes its own business, puts up an aggregator platform, or does some other new endeavor. In that case, it has to take advantage of all the resources available, from agile collaboration to digital technology.

In addition to their day-to-day business procedures, organizations must continue to work on credit approvals and risk management. The ultimate objective here should be to maximize operational effectiveness. There will be enough cash flow to sustain and fund the sections of the firm that are focused on innovation as long as the processes are standardized and streamlined.

However, you can be confident that clients will reap significant benefits from the reforms now unfolding in the car loan industry. The process of discovering, acquiring, and financing an automobile will be far more efficient if a simplified and transparent system is in place.

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