Bank of America Limits Dealer Leads in Effort to Improve Consumer Experience

Bank of America has opted to be more selective in how it shares consumer information with dealer partners, as the company pilots its new online direct lending portal, said David Hollodick, senior vice president of product and pricing in consumer vehicle lending and dealer financial services. Some online car marketplaces that Bank of America competes against, send leads to dealers based on search results, which can result in bad consumer experiences, he said, citing internal research the company conducted.

“[We wanted to protect] the consumer from any misunderstanding they might have had with those other designs, where they say: ‘I didn’t realize when I was providing my name [and contact info] to receive a vehicle price, that I was going to be contacted by so many people,’” Hollodick said. “I’m sure the disclosures tell you that, but it can still be a bad experience, because people don’t understand the implications.”

Instead, Bank of America will only send that contact information once the consumer has selected a car at a specific dealer, been approved for financing, and decided they want to finalize the deal.

“Everybody is sensitive around sharing information and their privacy, and we want to protect individual information,” he said. “Certainly, sharing the information at that point with the customer’s opt-in, makes sense, because it then allows the dealer and the applicant to contact and arrange time to come and see the vehicle.”

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