10 Lenders Pushing the Tech Envelope in 2017

  • Natalie Mattila
  • May 30, 2017
  • 0

6. CycleOne Financial

While CycleOne Financial may be a small institution, the motorcycle lessor is also bolstering its tech initiatives this year. The company plans to launch a dealer portal to make its software more dealer-friendly, President Logan Riley told Powersports Finance. The portal will enable dealers to upload documents and stips, as well as check on the status of submitted credit applications.

To start out, CycleOne will partner with a third-party software company, but eventually the startup hopes to build an in-house dealer portal. The portal is projected to be “up and running” within the next six to 10 months, he said in March.

The Orlando, Fla.-based motorcycle lessor launched in April 2015, and has raised $4 million in seed funding to-date. Now, CycleOne plans to use the undisclosed amount of Series A funding to expand its dealer reach to the entire state of Florida. CycleOne makes leases for 15 “hand-selected” dealerships in the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas.

Separately, CycleOne will expand its breadth of offerings to include new motorcycle leasing, after the startup expands its leasing limit — the amount it approves consumers for — beyond $12,000, Riley said.

7. United Finance

United Finance is “looking at possibilities” in fintech and online lending in order to be “ahead of the curve,” Todd May, the lender’s vice president of dealer development and remarketing, told Powersports Finance last month. “Disrupters are coming, and we have to accommodate that. If you are not changing, you are not moving forward,” May said.

Fintech — financial services technology — extends from financial services startups to IT investment and tech innovation by major banks, in areas of personal finance, payments, and more.

There is a “ton of talk” about “immediate loans,” which are loans customers can obtain without visiting a financial institution or F&I office in a dealership, May said. “We are definitely looking at that,” he added, including fintech lending companies and the online-only dealerships — the ones without brick-and-mortar locations.

“I can see this is where the industry is headed, finance-wise, where a deal gets done outside the dealership,” he said. “That’s where a lot of talk is now,” and the powersports industry is “not that far away from that,” May added.

8. Speed Leasing

In true startup fashion, Speed Leasing LLC is working on a variety of technology developments, including a dealer portal and the company’s official website.

The lessor is developing a dealer portal, which it planned to debut this year shortly after launching operations. Speed Leasing, funded by an undisclosed Miami-based private equity firm, was projected to begin underwriting leases in April, Partner Hasham Malik told Powersports Finance in February. The startup did not respond for comment.

The powersports lease provider’s website appears to still be under construction, however, Speed Leasing is making the dealer portal its top priority, Malik previously said. “That’s where I have my IT focusing,” he said. “The website is secondary. … There’s only so much you can have the IT team do at one time.”

Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Speed Leasing finances Harley-Davidson motorcycles, 10 years old or newer, for consumers with Ficos as low as a 500. The company will offer leases in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina to start, but plans to expand “as quickly as possible,” moving through the southeast into additional states.

9. FreedomRoad Financial

FreedomRoad Financial is “sticking to our knitting” to improve upon existing technology endeavours this year, Tom Collins, executive vice president and managing director, told Powersports Finance.

“Our focus for technology this year is customer facing: better phone menu options, increased methods for payment, and streamlining our loan management system to gain efficiencies,” Collins said. FreedomRoad is also “looking for tweaks we can make on the dealer portals to enhance the dealer experience,” he said.

FreedomRoad Financial, a division of Evergreen Bank Group, is a national powersports lending company. Reno, Nev.-based FreedomRoad offers installment loans with terms up to 84 months. Separately, the lender formed Performance Finance in September 2016, in partnership with Polaris Industries Inc. Performance Finance is a “captive-like” program that offers exclusive financing on Polaris vehicles.

10. America’s First Federal Credit Union

America’s First Federal Credit Union is sketching plans to open up auto-decisioning in powersports, Bob Jaffe, indirect loan manager, told Powersports Finance in February. “We have several initiatives underway to help improve efficiencies in our loan operating system,” Jaffe said.

While powersports auto-decisioning is “still under consideration,” the credit union is looking into developing it after expanding its auto loan origination system to buy deeper in the credit pool, he said, though Jaffe declined to offer specifics.

In 2016, Birmingham, Ala.-based America’s First Federal Credit Union saw a 5% increase year over year in its powersports portfolio, Jaffe said.

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