DALLAS — Bank of America is piloting a new online, direct lending platform in select mid-Atlantic states and plans to launch nationwide following testing, said David Hollodick, senior vice president of consumer vehicle lending and product executive for the bank’s dealer financial services division.
The program allows buyers to link financing to specific cars from local dealer inventories, calculate the value of trade-ins, and ultimately reduce time spent in the dealership, Hollodick told Auto Finance News at CBA Live.
“This is the next step in our value proposition,” Hollodick said. “Consumers want to take more control, they want to do their research, they want to understand what their options are, and have a greater level of transparency.”
In 2016 the bank rolled out — and is still growing — a similar online lending platform that allows consumers to apply for preapproved auto loans. Both programs will operate simultaneously to give more choice to consumers, he said.
“Maybe they have multiple dealers they want to visit on their own, and they need to know, ‘Am I good to [finance] $30,000,’ and they go shopping on their own,” Hollodick said of the pre-approval portal. “We’re not going to push them down one path or the other.”
The pilot will start in the Southeast region — “principally in South Carolina” — where the bank partners with more than 200 dealers and hopes to onboard as many to the pilot as possible, Hollodick said. Consumers in these areas can access the pilot directly from the company’s app or online as it rolls out in the coming months.