The rapid ascent of online retail shows no signs of slowing. In fact this year has seen e-commerce take up a greater share than ever of sales, reaching up to 32% of total retail revenue in May 2020. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses looking to offer or leverage consumer finance to boost growth, including vendors, funders and lending intermediaries.
While this has led to more software providers entering the consumer finance software space, interest has largely focused on streamlining the POS experience. However, making the most of the digital financing opportunity will require a technology-focused approach to customer experience that takes users from enquiry to financing and beyond.
Lenders must leverage new tools to keep up with consumer expectations regarding personalisation, flexibility and friction levels. With the right approach, businesses can go beyond the first sale and increase their unit volumes, up-sell relevant products and increase repeat custom.
Creating the right first-impression
For e-commerce in particular, consumer finance opportunities are won or lost at the point-of-sale (POS). As online becomes the new normal, ease of use is essential to maximising engagement. With thousands of options just a search away, vendors, funders and intermediaries must focus on building a user-friendly experience.
The first challenge for vendors and lenders is securing the necessary information and permissions from the customer side without adding significant delay or inconvenience to the sales process. The most practical way is to use online forms and e-signature functionality to accurately profile the customer and proceed to necessary checks and searches.
By connecting your finance portal to an integrated CRM platform, customer information can be captured, stored and moved to relevant teams in real-time with no need for manual checks or data transfer.
Once they have submitted their details and consent, consumers will expect a fast decision in order to move forward with their purchase.
In this scenario, manual proposal management and underwriting risk causing serious delays and damaging customer experience. A targeted digital platform must streamline the process while also enabling accurate assessment of risk.
For example, QV Systems’ unique workflow uses live API connections to accelerate searches while providing the flexibility to suit different lending conditions. By linking to leading third-party intelligence providers QV Systems’ underwriting module can share proposals with multiple agencies simultaneously to perform soft credit checks and deliver approvals in accordance with rules set by the vendor or lender.
By combining automated data transfer and proposal creation with customisable a rules engine lenders and vendors can deliver fast decisions, in full compliance with relevant consumer legislation, while managing credit risk. In addition, connecting to multiple lenders with varying credit-risk appetites enables vendors and lenders to pass applications seamlessly between other lenders if necessary. This seamless experience helps maintain relationships between retailers, lenders and customers by providing a positive brand experience even in the event of not being able to accept an application.
Building long term value
In the face of increasing competition, customer loyalty becomes a key driver of success and growth. The opportunity is significant – 93% of first-time consumer finance users report that they would use finance again – but retaining and capitalising on these relationships requires a focused approach from vendors and lenders alike.
While this starts with the ease-of-use and reliability of the initial service offering, maintaining customer relationships and increasing repeat business requires careful attention to each user’s long-term, and possibly changing, needs. This starts with reliable, shareable and actionable customer information to monitor deal progress, support needs and maturity.
By centralising insights, lenders and vendors can efficiently segment and profile customers according to current and future needs to not only target upsell and support opportunities, cross-selling of other products in-lifetime, but also re-engage towards loan maturity to resell and continue the relationship.
Creating end-to-end value
As the consumer finance market grows, more businesses will be competing to help consumers access convenient lending. For lenders, vendors and intermediaries, the experience provided to customers will become a key differentiator for service and retention. In this scenario, it’s essential to consider the customer journey from an end-to-end perspective, going beyond the initial sale to optimise the underwriting and lifetime experience.
To achieve this, businesses can either choose to build their own solutions, which can be time-consuming and expensive, reducing speed to market, or leverage flexible tools such as QV Systems to augment the most important areas of their customer experience. QV Systems API functionality allows firms to mix and match tools to create a growth driving experience that connects every party of the consumer finance service with smart data capture, automated underwriting functionality and centralised deal management.
QV Systems works with the world’s most innovative lenders and consumer finance businesses to accelerate and optimise their digital transformation programmes. We help to create agile systems that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances. Our future-ready platform is custom-built to help you create a best-in-class experience for your customers while giving you the insight you need to manage business growth at scale.
To find out how QV Systems can put you in the strongest position for the future, get in touch with one of our advisors today.