U.S. Bank made its foray into online auto financing last week with the launch of a platform that provides a streamlined application process for users, Tim Sullivan, the bank’s senior vice president and national sales executive for dealer services, told Auto Finance News.
In partnership with AutoGravity, the bank created a new platform on USBank.com, giving consumers the ability to pick their car, select a dealership, and get pre-approved for a U.S. Bank loan, all online.
U.S. Bank is the first national lender to partner directly with AutoGravity, which now has more than a dozen lender partners and “12 more in the hopper,” Mark Humphrey, the company’s vice president of lender network, told AFN.
The partnership was in the works for “about a year” as U.S. Bank did its due diligence to vet AutoGravity and ensure it is a beneficial option for the bank’s customers and dealers, especially given U.S. Bank has always been a “dealer-centric” operation, Sullivan said.
U.S. Bank has a “very established footprint” in auto in the U.S., AutoGravity’s Humphrey said. The bank “showed a lot of interest in what we were able to do leveraging our technology, and we have collectively enhanced some of our existing product features for our multi-lender platform, too,” he said, without divulging specific details.
The bank provides a lot of benefits to AutoGravity’s customer base as U.S. Bank is one of the few non-captives with a national leasing program, Humphrey said. U.S. Bank grew its auto lease outstandings 29% year over year to $7.9 billion in the fourth quarter, the company disclosed in a mid-January earnings report.
“Investments over the past several years aimed at enhancing our auto relationships are driving strong marketshare growth,” Andrew Cecere, U.S. Bank’s president and chief executive, said on the earnings call. “We are well positioned as one of the few remaining non-captive lessors in the industry and as one of the few financiers to offer both a lending and leasing option to our dealers.”
U.S. Bank’s digital loan platform with AutoGravity is currently available via the U.S. Bank website for those individuals looking to buy a new car through one of the bank’s 9,000 dealer partners. It will expand to the bank’s mobile app and be available to used-car buyers and co-applicants in the coming months.
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