Published on 8/17/2023

The Top Features Applicants Look for in an Auto Lender

Finding car buyers is easy, helping them pick out a car isn’t too hard either. A quick test drive and a calculated kick to the tires to make Dad happy still pretty much covers it. But what about helping them finance that car? That’s a whole other story.

Competition in auto lending is tough, no matter how savvy your tire kicking skills. Buyers these days can do extensive homework from the comfort of their couch well before ever setting foot on your lot. In some cases, they can complete the entire car buying process from that same comfy spot skipping the dealership entirely.

And your competition is well aware of this, offering all kinds of shiny gimmicks to get that business. What they don’t seem to know is that educated borrowers don’t want gimmicks. They want a fast, easy, transparent process that takes the stress out of buying a car. This is a huge life event for some people, and nothing throws a wet blanket on the entire experience like hours of underwriting, document collecting, and loan processing. Not to mention giving the buyer ample time to get overwhelmed and catch a case of cold feet.

Thus, the reason online car sales have become so popular. Will it ever eclipse the in-person vehicle purchase? Only time will tell.

Cars are built for speed, why isn’t document collection? 

It can, and dare I say it should be! To expedite the process and eliminate the need for hard copy bank statements, invest in a good instant bank verification (IBV) provider (also referred to as an instant account verification or IAV provider). If you are unfamiliar with the term, it’s a software that provides digital bank statements straight from the financial institution. You read that right, waiting on physical copies is a thing of the past. 

Instant bank verification is also a preferred method for applicants. It does not get easier than a 3-step process while they are standing in your finance office to get you exactly what you need in seconds to have them on the road at lightning speed. (For legal reasons, by “lightning speed” we mean while also adhering to all posted speed limits and coming to a full stop at stop signs.)

If you build it, they will scan it
Premium IAV providers, like DecisionLogic, create custom QR codes you can post anywhere on your lot to entice even the most timid of buyers to start the application process before they have picked out a vehicle or taken a test drive. We have all become so accustomed to scanning QR codes since the pandemic. It has turned an intimidating process into an approachable one, especially for the latest generation of buyers who think nothing of scanning a QR code for anything and everything. This increases your conversion rates via a clear and effortless process for your buyers to move forward with their financing. 
Non-confrontational, zero-friction is the way of the future
This goes for pretty much every financing vertical today. And not just for the applicant or borrower. Lenders and dealerships have realized that centralizing, optimizing, and automating their processes makes everyone’s life easier. You can complete more car purchases if your applicants and agents aren’t bogged down with a lengthy and complicated underwriting process, plain and simple. If you don’t have a huge budget, you can start with consolidating vendors. Find an IAV provider that offers QR codes and identity verification. This reduces onboarding, invoicing and consolidates support and cost for both to one service. If you use a loan management system, they might already be integrated with a top IAV provider, further diminishing the level of effort towards automation. 
Support, the silent money saver
Seek out vendors that don’t charge for support, it shouldn’t cost you money to get help using their product. Bonus points if you can find one that will help you, train your agents, guide your tech team through integration and automation and be there for your applicants should they need any assistance.
This goes to the old adage “time is money”, which is still true today. Why waste your valuable time trying to figure out a new system, train your agents, and help your applicants through the process? Your vendor should help you get set up, and offer technical assistance (why do they always charge for help implementing THEIR platform?). And if they can train you, they can train your agents; because let’s be honest, if you aren’t making money, neither are your vendors in many cases. 
It’s rare (unless you are DecisonLogic) to find a partner that will also service your customers, but if you find one, it adds a whole new level of value. Suddenly you can direct anyone having issues to the experts that can step them through the process and return them to you for finalization. This not only reduces overhead on man hours, but also reduces stress on your agents who may increase buyer friction if they try to troubleshoot an issue. Leave it to the experts! 
In case you couldn’t tell, DecisionLogic has very strong opinions about customer support. It should be free and limitless, regardless of your financial commitment. This is why our Support Team is available via phone, email, and live chat because you shouldn’t have to choose between convenience and quality. You can have both!