From the April issue: In auto finance, the lender-dealer relationship is one of symbiosis. Yet, in an age where technology is continually advancing, and financing is becoming faster, lenders and dealers agree that being mindful of and maintaining the human relationship is paramount to cultivating a prosperous partnership.
Advances in technology — machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics process automation (RPA) — are increasing the speed and accuracy by which lenders can originate loans. Subprime lender Prestige Financial Services doubled its lending volume within six months after implementing ZestFinance’s artificial intelligence-powered credit scoring model, said Steve Warnick, the lender’s chief credit and analytics officer.
BMW Financial Services utilizes robotics to simplify highly repeatable tasks. “RPA is what I would consider low-hanging fruit and an efficiency win that frees up capacity for the teams to complete more meaningful tasks,” President and Chief Executive Ian Smith told Auto Finance News. “[RPA automates] tasks that we do on a regular basis that can help speed up the process time for our customers and our business.”
Dealers, too, reap the benefits from innovations in technology. “What [dealers] are asking for primarily is a speed of answer,” said Tim Sullivan, national sales executive of the dealer services division at U.S. Bank. “The faster we can get back to them with a decision on the loan, [the better]. That’s the one thing they always come back to.”
However, the disruption of the traditional lending model caused by technological advances comes with roadblocks. Lenders and dealers must work together to overcome those hurdles.