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Mobile Auto Loans Are the Way of the Future

Smartphone with car dealership blurred in background
By Crystal Bullard

2 minutes

Is your credit union ready for the road ahead?

Sponsored by SWBC

Consumers have long been able to check their credit scores and get pre-approved for an auto loan through a dealership or lender website, but completing the entire loan process on-the-go through mobile devices is quickly becoming the industry standard when car shopping. As purchase habits change, financial institutions must adapt and stay abreast of the most current technology and consumer trends. Today that means lending by smartphone or tablet.

According to Pew Research, 77 percent of Americans across all age groups now own and use a smartphone. That means almost 250 million people in this country are accustomed to accessing information and purchasing products and services instantly, anywhere they go.

A 2016 study conducted by LendingTree found that auto loans are gaining popularity, particularly with millennials. This technology-savvy demographic expects to accomplish most tasks online, preferably on their phones, and are attracted to a process that allows them to buy and finance a car in a more streamlined fashion. They demand information and services on the spot, and have a long list of potential new vendors seeking their business.

As the auto purchase process changes, lending must change with it. If your credit union doesn’t offer members the ability to apply for and fund an auto loan—customized to their needs in the customer’s preferred mobile manner—it risks being overlooked, while other financial institutions and online lenders step in to take that business.

To ensure you are meeting consumer expectations for mobile lending:

  • Make sure your websites and mobile apps are attractive, clear, and easy to navigate.
  • Include all information an applicant would want or need to apply for a loan up front.
  • Allow prospects to run a preliminary check of their eligibility to borrow before formally submitting an application requiring a hard inquiry on their credit report.
  • Offer calculators that display how monthly payments change with the loan amount and term.
  • Explain the process from beginning to end in simple, easy-to-understand terminology.

Lenders who don’t keep up with the changing times will be left behind. Make sure your credit union is up-to-date on current trends and technologically competitive with every other lender on the road.

Crystal Bullard is manager of business development for CUES Supplier member SWBC, San Antonio, Texas. Learn how you can boost your auto lending portfolio and reach millions of new consumers with an online and mobile direct-lending platform by requesting a demo of SWBC’s AUTOPAY.

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