The car buying process is an increasingly online process, both for traditional manufacturers and also because of new online challengers ranging from Rockar to global internet shopping giant Amazon.
Lenders shouldn’t delay because they are trying to pick a single winner in the technology platform race, according to Richard Jones, managing director of Black Horse, who was recently named chairman of the UK Finance and Leasing Association.
Instead, auto finance companies should embrace open API technologies that allow a wide range of software used by industry suppliers and their customers to integrate with their own systems to start the finance process.
Jones made the comments during a presentation to delegates at the International Auto Finance Conference. You can watch key points from his presentation below. The video is provided courtesy of White Clarke Group.
Jones said: “Digitisation transforms a business, it transforms the basis of competition, it changes the dynamic and the relationship with the customer. It allows innovation and it provides an explosion in the amount of data that you suddenly acquire from your customers.
“All of these things are going to change our market. The key for me is to have the right technology platforms so I can deal with every single one of those if I needed to. “Open API technologies allow you to plug-and-play any part of your sales process and fundamentally change it. When you design an online car and car finance buying journey, it’s not the same as the physical one. You have to think about it quite differently.”
This includes completing online purchasing, carrying out identity checks and verification or dealing with queries, all without ever meeting the customer. This requires systems that operate seamlessly with dealer systems and any technology a customer is using.
Jones said: “Digital will transform. It will improve everything about our models, our commercial relationships, our customer relationships; it will change the operating models of our businesses and it will change the customer experience.
“None of this is possible if you haven’t got the right technology in the first place and as lenders this is something we’ve all got to get our heads around. It will lead to a lot more collaboration between lenders and software distribution businesses.”