The following post is part of a series of blogs written by MeridianLink Partners who will be attending the MeridianLink LIVE! User Forum in May 2022. To learn more about the event, click here.
Consumers demand more choice and flexibility when buying their next vehicle, and they prefer a modern process. Dealers are determined to meet consumer expectations and further enhance the finance workflow with integrated solutions that complement each other.
Many dealerships and dealer groups are using eContracting to help satisfy consumer preferences. Plus, they've happily discovered that finance sources who support eContracting can fund contracts faster, so dealers get paid sooner.
Your business should consider embracing a solution like eContracting to enjoy a reduction in errors and benefit from the secure management of documents.
The Benefits of eContracting Adoption
A comprehensive eContracting solution helps your business manage contracts effortlessly and share information with dealers easily. Contract data is pushed directly into your Loan Origination System (LOS) for a quicker review process and faster funding. Critical documents and data are shared between dealers and finance sources in minutes instead of days or weeks. As a result, the functionality enables you and your dealers to work smarter and more efficiently than ever before.
Generally, online credit application data auto-populates an eContract to reduce duplicate data entry. The data is also validated against your requirements before submission, which helps reduce bounced contracts. Compare that with a standard paper contracting process, in which dealers have to send documents to finance sources either by fax or overnight delivery, costing more time and money than the practice of submitting digital documents.
eContracting and eSigning combine to create a frictionless online process that securely captures all required signatures the first time, making bounced contracts due to missing signatures a bygone. You can support in-store eSigning from a tablet or computer or even remote eSigning.
Remote eSigning allows buyers to review and electronically sign an eContract, along with associated ancillary documents, at a time and place of their choosing in an online "signing room." Remote eSigning offers consumers flexibility as it reduces time spent at the dealership. Many platforms allow dealers to include credit applications, aftermarket forms, eContracts, and other eSignable deal documents in a single signing ceremony.
The value of eContracting has grown exponentially as consumers and dealerships alike search for an easier way to maneuver vehicle buying. Most consumers still want to visit a dealership to view the latest vehicles and test drive their choice. But buyers want a faster and less complicated contracting process.
eContracting can bolster a buying process that starts anywhere: in-home, online, or a combination of both. If your business doesn't support eContracting, dealers could be booking contracts with finance sources that do. You could be missing out on the growth of your indirect lending business and the ability to reach new customers and retain your current customers.
Since MeridianLink is an LOS that is a RouteOne eContracting-certified platform, adding eContracting to your toolbox should be a smooth transition. As a RouteOne eContracting-certified LOS, MeridianLink has fulfilled base eContracting functionality requirements. Certification of an LOS helps ensure that the technical implementation for finance source customers who choose eContracting is swift.
Additional Digital Processes to Support
Besides eContracting, there are other digital tools you could consider supporting to enhance your business. If you're a finance source connected with MeridianLink, your business could electronically accept credit applications if you don't already.
Indirect lending puts you directly into a dealer's point of sale to easily choose you as a financing option. Online indirect lending streamlines the credit process and creates efficiencies in the buying experience for dealers and consumers. Plus, you can provide an immediate decision and increase access and visibility to your dealer customers. Many platforms offer dynamic fields, so you can choose the information you want to capture to save time and increase efficiency for you and your dealers.
Dealers that use digital credit applications and eContracting on one integrated platform could also benefit from electronic document storage to create an audit trail. Your business could also support a payoff quote feature so that dealers can submit customer data to receive a real-time vehicle payoff amount digitally. Online payoff quotes help eliminate the costs of service desk calls while increasing dealer satisfaction. More finance sources that support a payoff quote feature is among the top requests made by dealers.
By supporting an online indirect lending process, eContracting, eSigning, and other digital tools, you can grow your dealership business and create new consumer relationships, too, now and into the future.