Why is this different – is it technology, business processes or other reasons?
defi SOLUTIONS Speakers:
Charles Sutherland, Chief Strategy Officer
Scott Hendriks, Dir. Product Strategy and Product Management
Christian Wilcoxson, Solutions Engineer
This presentation is a part of AFSA’s Business Partner webinar series, which allows industry experts to share timely educational topics directly with AFSA members. Charles facilitates a “fireside chat” between Christian (playing the role of the client advocate) and Scott (speaking as the vendor technology provider community at large). This transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Charles: So where do we stand on this? Is it the technology? Or is it the business processes and the changing nature, maybe the more digital nature of auto finance going forward, that’s really driving this moment in this discussion?
Christian: So, I really think it’s a different reason this time. It is part of the digital technology that is becoming prevalent out there, but really, what’s driving a lot of this change now is how both consumers and businesses want and need to interact with lenders.
Not nearly as many people are going into a branch to start off a loan application. A lot of people don’t want to walk into an auto dealership all of the time to start that application. So we’re really having to react to the consumer who’s driving a lot of this change because they want to sit in their home, fill out an application, understand what they’ve been qualified for, and then maybe walk onto a dealership lot.
But in a lot of cases many consumers now are saying, “Hey, I don’t want to go anywhere and have to go look at anything and pick up this vehicle.” So from that standpoint, there’s a lot of lenders scrambling to kind of update their technology and their business processes to accommodate what’s becoming the new norm for engagement with the consumer themselves.
Charles: Scott, now thinking as a provider and then we’re going to get even further into the tech side. But usually there’s a tech for business process reason.
Scott: I think historically, if you go back 15, 20 years ago and when I was certainly on the lender side of it, I will attest that this was the case, technology drove the business. You recognize that you needed a new system, for whatever reason, and it was typically capability driven. You would hit some point where the platforms you had in place no longer fit the bill, and then there was a decision made to either acquire something or build something. And in the case of the acquisition side of it, when you bought a platform, you had to re-engineer process to fit the technology.
So while business may have said, “Hey, we’ve outgrown it,” technology defined the solution and the business had to cope.
And I think what we’re seeing now is that shift is starting to finally come around the other way, where the technologies are becoming more flexible. They’re becoming less coded, they’re becoming more extensible, more configurable, to where the business now isn’t necessarily having to make that hard choice about do I throw the baby out and start over with something and then change our entire life to fit that? Or do we have the ability to do either pieces of or something that gives us all the capabilities we need without having to sacrifice a process efficiency …whatever, … the list goes on from there, right, all the things that people had to trade off over the years?
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