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The Evolution of eContracting Through the Lender Lens

Article Highlights:

  • Changing the way business is done to meet customers in the digital world.
  • The benefits of eContracting for all: dealer, lender, and customer.

The world is moving increasingly more online and consumers are looking for convenience in their shopping experience. When it comes to buying a vehicle today, the many steps involved in the purchasing process need to be accessible from anywhere. This is especially important with the lingering effects of the pandemic that created a new desire for fully remote experiences.

In a discussion with Maxine Olson, a dealer solutions consultant at Volkswagen Credit, we hear about the current state of eContracting and where it is heading.

Reynolds: What does the traditional (paper) contracting process look like from a lender perspective?

Maxine: It involves sorting through the mail, pulling out different kinds of paperwork that spans many pages and folders, and then manually entering that data so it is in a digital format. After that, we look at it, audit it, and send it back to the dealer. If there’s an issue, the dealer has to get the customer back in the office and then mail it back to us for the same review. It’s extremely time consuming, uses a lot of manpower, and is not sustainable.

R: Fast forward to today, what are the benefits of moving to eContracting and how is it impacting Volkswagen Credit?

M: There are so many benefits on both ends. Everything we get is already digital and is sorted appropriately. This way no one has to scan or manually enter the documents. It actually takes about a third of the time to process one document or funding package as it would for paper. It also has allowed us to be more accurate the first time, cutting out 23% of our package reworks. It’s extremely important, especially since the pandemic, that our funders can fund from anywhere. Because of this, we have to be very proactive and process driven.

R: How is Volkswagen Credit helping dealers get on board with this?

M: We are making sure our dealers get funded faster, and the CIT time is a lot better. That in itself is a huge benefit for our dealers, and we make sure to fund those deals first. If anything gets pushed to the back burner, it’s the paper deals. eContracting helps dealers by keeping their cash flow going and prevents finance managers from doing a lot of reworks. This allows them to focus more on contacting or upselling customers because they have more time. There are a lot of benefits for our dealers, and we want to help them understand why it’s important and how they can use it to their advantage.

R: Where do you see things going and what are you excited about for eContracting?

M: We all know the finance office is not usually rated as the most pleasant experience, so we are very excited for this whole new world of selling. Changing the way we do business and meeting customers where they are, creates a better buying experience as a whole. What we are finding is when the customer is relaxed and has the opportunity to purchase a vehicle anywhere, they actually buy more products.

Moving the Needle Forward

eContracting will continue to grow as customers want a shopping experience that is quick and easy, lenders need to reduce risk and drive efficiency, and you want to get cash in bank as fast as possible. Take advantage of the benefits today and see how dramatically it can change your business.

To watch the interview with transcript, click here.

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Brand Marketing, Vice President, Reynolds and Reynolds

Greg Uland is the vice president of brand marketing for Reynolds and Reynolds. He is responsible for customer communications and understanding and defining Reynolds unique position in the automotive retailing market. During his career with Reynolds, he has established a background in fixed operations, sales, and dealership marketing.

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