September 29, 2020

Pandemic advances Dealertrack's digital F&I offerings

Finance-and-insurance software provider Dealertrack is now capable of supporting a fully digital process after adding an electronic signature feature to its tool and integrating another so customers can remotely sign and submit any deal document digitally, the company said last month.

Pandemic conditions accelerated progress of the technology, which was previously expected to launch within six months, according to Emil Banga, associate vice president of F&I dealer operations at Cox Automotive.

“We put this at the head of the pack,” Banga said about the advancements. “We were able to get that done in a very, very short time frame.”

The new feature, Dealertrack Ready Sign, allows dealership employees to upload forms to the company’s uniFI F&I software and assign blocks from customer signatures, initials and dates — much like a PDF. Once uploaded, documents can be sent to customers through a secure link accessed through a smartphone or laptop.

With the finalization of the remote signature tool, Dealertrack also integrated a separate process to allow users to keep all deal documents in one place. The feature, called Dealertrack DMS Laser Forms, allows customers to sign all relevant documents in one package that the dealership can send directly to an auto lender.

With customers unwilling to wade into public spaces in pandemic conditions, remote processes enabled by digital features have become essential to dealerships across the country. From mid-April to mid-July, Dealertrack said, interest in the company’s electronic contracting system nearly doubled, as did the number of contracts signed remotely in the same time frame.

“Both of these enhancements were all about the consumer experience,” Banga said. “We’re trying to help the dealers get to a full digital single signing ceremony.”

DMS Laser Forms also allows dealership employees to create signature templates for frequently uploaded documents, such as title statements or odometer disclosures, so that these documents are readily accessible in the system. Previously, these documents had to be sent to auto lenders outside of the system by a fax machine or in the mail.