Westlake Financial Services plans to roll out e-contracting to powersports dealers this year, hoping to hasten funding, improve dealer and customer satisfaction, and boost loan volume, David Goff, Westlake’s assistant vice president of marketing, told Powersports Finance.
The powersports e-contracting launch will shortly follow the nationwide expansion of e-contracting to auto dealers, which is slated to happen by midyear, Goff said. “To the extent that we can bring e-contracting to the powersports world, and dealers can realize how fast they can get funded, I think i t would be a huge feather knocked out,” he said.
The Los Angeles-based auto lender partnered with RouteOne in October 2015, and piloted the program with franchise dealers in California, in February 2016.
“One of the biggest challenges in powersports is how each state handles the contracts,” Goff said, which is why launching e-contracting is such a long process. “An ATV might be on a different type of contract than a motorcycle, depending on the state. One might be on a similar auto-style contract, whereas an ATV might be on consumer goods contract. So it’s really going through and making sure, compliance, regulations, that everything is done properly to where we are all within the right legal limits and no potential loss of PII [personal identity information].”
Currently, e-contracting for auto dealers is offered in 17 states. Dealers “light up” when a lender presents them with the option to fund a deal faster, Goff said. “That allows us to jump in on stip packages earlier, do verifications earlier, and get that customer into the process earlier,” he added.
As e-contracting continues to launch out in auto, the powersports industry can expect to see “more and more lenders” launching the system, but it will take time, Goff said. “That’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing,” he added. “I would much rather take an extra month, or year, as long as we are not failing in some sort of compliance manner.”