Bank of America is planning to revamp its online lending portal and “take it to another level,” as dealer adoption has spurred a boost in volume, Tim Owens, consumer vehicle lending sales executive, told Auto Finance News.
The goal is to create a “Gen 2” version of the portal, which will provide more optionality for the consumer to be able to “move between cars, move between dealers, and engage with the dealer at any point in the process,” Owens said.
The current iteration of the digital platform is “somewhat linear,” Owens said. “You select your car and then you get approved and then we forward that over to the dealer.” However, research conducted via customer feedback and dealer roundtables has shown that clients want optionality, he added. “They’d like to perhaps do a preapproval as opposed to full approval, so we’re adding that type of flexibility for our clients,” he said.
Owens anticipates the upgrade to roll out at the end of 2020, possibly early 2021. “It’s one of our key priorities from the tech perspective in the auto business, but as you know these things take a little time,” he explained. “We’ve got the tech dollars and now we need to get to work.”
Since launching May 2017, Bank of America has signed on more than half of its dealer network to the platform, with more in the pipeline, Owens said. Already, compared with the beginning of the year, the bank has nearly doubled inventory. “There’s a lot of momentum out there in the marketplace,” he said. Second-quarter earnings also showed that the portal drove 60% of direct auto loan applications, up from 55% back in February.
Join us for Auto Finance Summit 2019, October 28-30 at the Bellagio Las Vegas. The summit continues to bring together the best and brightest executives in auto lending and leasing for unparalleled networking and education. Register now at www.autofinancesummit.com.