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Lenders ‘lagging’ on e-agreements impacts dealerships, says Startline

Startline Motor Finance chief executive Paul Burgess

Lenders have been called out by Startline Motor Finance for lagging behind on adopting e-agreement capability and impacting dealership finance performance.

E-agreements are becoming the new minimum dealer requirement in motor finance technology because of their ability to drive finance penetration.

Startline Motor Finance says that without this facility, dealers are trapped in a 20th century method of selling and processing finance.

This means they have to get agreements physically printed and signed, rather than being handled through dealer web sites or e-mail.

Startline Motors’ chief executive Paul Burgess said; “Everyone knows that e-agreements drive penetration because they remove the requirement for paper from the process.

They are faster and cleaner, and open up your motor finance offering to a much wider group of potential customers.

“The picture has changed quite quickly in the last year or so and we have moved into a situation where being able to offer e-agreements is a minimum requirement for lenders.

“Despite this, some major players in the market are lagging behind offering the technology, which will unavoidably be having an impact on the finance performance of their dealers.”

Burgess said that Startline had launched its own e-agreement technology in 2017 and that there had been an immediate and measurable impact on dealer finance penetration.

“E-agreements allow a much more flexible approach to how motor finance is sold, as well as being more FCA-friendly because they are more transparent and more easily trackable.”

“In a sense, all lenders are doing with this tech is meeting customer expectations. Today, they very much expect to be able to process their finance needs quickly and slickly online.”

Startline is currently midway through the current phase of its IT strategy, having made investments in not just e-agreements but new decisioning software designed to process a higher percentage of customer applications automatically.

Burgess said: “As a business, we continue to grow on a month-by-month basis and our IT strategy is designed to take account of this expansion.

"The further investment we plan to make in the next few months, especially with the appointment of a new head of IT from within the automotive industry, will make a genuine difference to both our dealers and their customers.”

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