Oregon Community Credit Union (OCCU) is striving to stay relevant to millennial buyers by shifting its focus this year to improving its mobile payment functions, according to Chief Credit Officer Jerry Liudahl.
While OCCU already has a mobile app for consumers to make payments and complete an online loan application, the ability to get a loan arranged and funded online to purchase their vehicle “are pieces we are working on to perfect,” Liudahl said. “We don’t feel our online loan process is anywhere as robust as it needs to be. Online lending for us is a big focus and one of our top priorities.”
Many traditional lenders face a “real danger of the younger generation finding us no longer relevant because we are not able to service their needs,” Liudahl told Auto Finance News. “We are facing competition from outside the industry and marketplace lenders, such as Lending Club, and we know there are other folks coming from outside industry looking to offer auto loans to that generation,” he said. Now the challenge is learning to adapt and “redefine the way we do business so it’s relevant to a whole generation that’s going to be the future of our financial institution.”
OCCU is focused on “the desires of an increased number of buyers who are looking to do their financing and originations online,” he said. The way to accommodate those desires is to allow more financial transactions to be conducted through smartphones and other mobile devices, “which is the way convenience and access to financial services is being redefined,” he added.
As an industry, the ability to deliver the product in the channel that people desire, “is going to take some changes both in how we do financing and how dealers also sell vehicles and arrange financing,” Liudahl said. “There is a whole paradigm shift occurring that we have to adapt to in order to remain successful.”
Online transactions should be easy and fast — that’s the expectation, he said, especially among millennials. “How we delivered things to older folks — or have delivered products in the past — no longer applies, and now it’s all about being able to do it online and how quickly you can get it done.”