The following article entitled “Turning the Worst Part of the Borrowing Experience into the Best” appeared on the World Council of Credit Unions’ weCU2.org website, April 22.
Does anyone like applying for a loan? Not likely, according to recent studies. The results of the latest survey fromnaming the worst part of buying a new car may not surprise most people. Haggling over price, of course. The second worst part of the car buying experience? Getting a loan. Is anyone surprised?
The turn offs to applying for a loan are many. When it comes to cars, to get a loan from the dealer, buyers have to spend more time with the outfit that just delivered the worst part of their car buying experience. But even that may be more attractive than a trip to the bank or credit union, where paper work and waiting for results can both be daunting. Other studies suggest that when it comes to loan applications, many people don’t apply because they are simply afraid to look at their credit score.
While boomers are more patient with the traditional car buying experience, the millennial generation expects more. Most of their shopping and purchasing has been made extremely personalized, convenient and mobile—in the language of marketing, delightful.
CuneXus Solutions, a California software maker, aims to bridge the gap between a millennial shopper’s expectations and credit unions by making it extremely easy for financial institutions to offer pre-approved, “click-to-accept” loans. The platform delivers offers to customers’ phones, computers and tablets, using a combination of customer credit, behavior and location. The software goes by the name of cplXpress, short for Comprehensive Pre-Screened Lending (CPL) express.
Let’s get back to the auto buying experience, for example. Credit union customers might walk into an auto showroom and immediately receive a friendly geo-targeted push notification or text, reminding them that they are already pre-approved for a $40,000 auto loan—click to accept. Personalized? Check. Convenient. Mobile. No paperwork. No fear of rejection. Check check check check.
A lot of people seem to agree.
“Solutions such as CuneXus’ simply address the holy grail for consumers,” says Sam Maule of Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group. “It saves time. It educates simplistically and visually. It provides immediate gratification.”
“Another way to look at it is as a perpetual lending offer ready to serve your customers when they want a loan and not when you send your loan campaign,” says noted FinTech and Data Driven Marketing Consultant, David Gerbino. “This service, properly executed, can lead to outsized direct returns on investment.”
The same experience can be applied to RVs, boats, motorcycles, appliances, consumer electronics, or any other purchase. Consumers are empowered with more transparent knowledge of their credit and buying power. Best of all for the credit union, the lender is present with the buyer at the point of purchase, building positive relationships with a new generation of customers.
“The ability to communicate to a retail lending client during their Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) regarding a loan has been traditionally impossible,” says Gerbino. “The cplXpress platform is the first tool that allows a lender to be engaged with their customers during their lending ZMOT.”
Jim Bruene, founder of the Finovate Group and editor of the popular NetBanker blog, agrees. “Financial institutions have long been highly competitive price-wise along with being the most-trusted source for auto loans. So what’s holding them back? Convenience. Most auto buyers use their time and energy to research the vehicle. The financing is an afterthought. That’s why a pre-approved simple digital experience can make all the difference.”
How does cplXpress work? The secret sauce is a loan generation engine that processes multiple data streams from a lender’s database and from the credit bureau. The result is a personalized set of pre-approved offers that are unique to each member’s financial profile, and the lender’s risk tolerance and product portfolio. The platform then delivers these offers across all available channels including online banking, mobile banking, direct mail, email, and at the branch and call center, where and when the customer needs them.
By most measures, cplXpress is on a roll. In its first nine months of availability, the platform was responsible for over $100,000,000 in consumer loans funded. Last August, CuneXus announced that the $2.2 billion Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU) processed more than $24 million in loans in 90 days, growing revenue more than three times compared to the previous year.
Awards and accolades are also piling up. The company was crowned Winning Startup at the 5th Future of Money & Technology Summit in San Francisco in December, and named one of ten early stage companies to watch in a global industry report, “The 50 Best Fintech Innovators,” published by KPMG, AWI and the Financial Services Council (FSC).
If that weren’t enough CuneXus has formed alliances with Digital Insight, FIS, PSB Integrated Marketing and Harland Clarke to expand into new markets.
Maybe the next generation of consumers will name financing as the best part of the auto buying experience, and so will credit unions.