With increasingly higher numbers of interactive finance tools on dealer websites, retailers need to deliver the same high level experience in the showroom ensuring Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) compliance is at the heart of all activity, James Tew, chief executive of iVendi will tell delegates at Automotive Management Live.
Tew will lead the online finance masterclass as part of a timetable packed with best practice seminars.
In his session, Tew will outline consumer expectations, their behaviour when sourcing vehicle funding solutions and how moving to a ‘self-service’ style of online finance provision improves the consumer experience and is far more likely to be FCA compliant.
Tew said: “Our research shows 65% of the top 200 dealer groups now incorporate finance tools on their websites, but we also know the experience in-store often doesn’t live up to expectations which have been created online.
“In the showroom, dealers are still using the same processes which have been in place for several years.
"On top of this, many dealers have been lulled into a false sense of security that the FCA is leaving the sector alone which has seen the return of some old showroom practices likely to be considered non-compliant by the regulator. We think it is only a matter of time before some dealers are paid a visit.”
Tew will explain how a more sophisticated online finance offering where customers practically qualify and ‘serve’ themselves, which could also be available in the showroom, is much more likely to be considered compliant.
“Car buyers could be offered a range of finance products on the dealer website which are easily comparable and connected to finance providers enabling an end-to-end solution which is managed entirely by the consumer. The process would also be fully audited and because the consumer has come to the decision themselves, we think it will be viewed extremely favourably by the FCA.
“The first end-to-end finance deal was brokered and finalised online last year and we think it will not be long before the practice is adopted more widely.
"Effectively, the consumer becomes their own business manager with the whole process taking place online, but there’s no reason why the same process cannot be made available in the dealership.”
According to iVendi figures, 28% of consumers dropout of the finance process at the point when bank and salary details are requested.
However, 37% of consumers who applied for finance online in August were approved with a prime lender whilst 77% of those using iVendi’s online credit check have a score of 200 points or more and that figure rises to 92.5% for one of its prestige motor group clients with 70% scoring 350+, suggesting those looking for finance solutions online are generally high quality prospects.
“We expect the self-serve option to become more in demand in both the showroom and on the dealer website as more and more customers shun the traditional showroom experience."
Automotive Management Live
Taking place on 16 November at ArenaMK, Automotive Management Live is unique to the sector offering a day of expert speakers, exhibitors and networking under one roof in one day which is free for dealer and manufacturer visitors on pre-registration.