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.
“There’s always stuff we are looking at, such as fintech,” May said. “Disrupters are coming, and we have to accommodate that. If you are not changing, you are not moving forward. So we are looking at all possibilities.”
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.
Technology continues to be a driving factor for direct and indirect loans in powersports and auto finance, he said. “It is where this industry is going, and is going to head,” May said. “You have to be ahead of the curve and be in conversations to remain competitive,” and competition in powersports — in particular — has amped up in recent years.
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.
Revstop.com, for example, is a San Diego startup that is aiming to be the first completely online powersports dealer. The website, which appears to still be under construction, will allow consumers to shop, finance, and purchase a powersports vehicle without stepping foot into a dealership, according to a press release. The online shopping platform replaces the dealership with technology, offering consumers a wider shopping selection and — potentially — better savings, according to the release.
Revstop.com is projected to launch in the spring of 2017, and all vehicles available on the website will come fully serviced, inspected, and delivered to the consumer’s door.
“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.
United Finance, a Portland, Ore.-based subprime lender, has 27 operating branches in three states: Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. It works with 400 auto dealers and 30 powersports dealers.