Citizens One Auto Finance will adopt e-contracting by yearend, President Craig Lamp told Auto Finance News. “In the second half of the year, we want to deliver e-contracting [to our dealers],” Lamp said.
The e-contracting push is one element of a broader strategy launched in June 2017, when Citizens refreshed its loan-origination system with an FIS product called Originate. “We wanted to create a really stable platform where we are always up for the dealers when they send us an application,” Lamp said. “Second, we were looking for better speed on underwriting.”
Since updating its LOS, Citizens One has reduced application turnaround time by 50%, Lamp said.
Despite capacity for higher loan volume, the bank is keeping volume steady while it concentrates on the next step of its plan. “Our primary focus following the implementation of the new origination platform is identifying pain points for dealers,” Lamp said. “We’re not in big growth mode.” The bank had $12.1 billion of auto loan outstandings at yearend 2018.
Citizens One has also started to scope out the digital lending landscape. “We’re doing an exploration there,” Lamp said. “Lending models keep evolving, and I think lenders have to start figuring out where to put their bets. I see us progressing on the [digital retailing] strategy and how we fit into that, but I still see dealers as the focal point.”