There’s nothing about paying bills that consumers like, so it follows that the easier and cheaper and most penny perfect they are to pay, the better, right? KISS!
The U.S. Navy coined the phrase “KISS” — aka “Keep it Simple Stupid”— in 1960 to refer to jet mechanics, and it was eventually adapted across the military and into software development.
But I am not a fan of the word stupid, so I rephrase KISS as “Keep it Sesame Street.” It’s a minimalist design principle that says systems should be as simple as possible to ensure the greatest levels of user acceptance and interaction. It’s also common sense that the clearer and cleaner a choice is, the more apt a consumer is to adopt and embrace it.
When it comes to the car buying experience, more choices and greater convenience from shopping to monthly payments reflect the changing landscape of financing and leasing. Online platforms, flexible terms, and digital payments each factor into the simplest possible path to put and keep each driver in their chosen vehicle. KISS!
Online financing and leasing platforms
Until recently, there was nothing simple about applying for a car loan. Piles of paperwork, long turn-around times, and head-scratching bureaucracy left many wannabe buyers ready to walk, not drive, home.
Digital transformation has made it simpler for consumers to explore and secure financing and leasing options from their browser or specialty apps. Today’s fintech platforms offer quick and easy online applications with minimal documentation. It’s no longer necessary to pull out a file cabinet and produce years of paper tax returns and pay stubs, complete pages of hand-filled applications, make copies, and send by certified mail.
And applicants don’t have to wait what used to be days or weeks for what is now a super-quick (often instant) approval and equally fast and secure digital distribution of funds.
This vastly improved online application and approval process also gives the consumer a leg-up in negotiating. Knowing in advance what they can borrow gives them the confidence to approach the sales experience fully in charge. And pre-approval lets the salesperson know that this is a qualified buyer in a particular price range.
So, whether the buyer is applying in person with a dealership finance manager or on their iPad at home: KISS!
Flexible lease and financing terms
Automakers and financial institutions are offering more flexible terms for leases and loans to encourage car ownership and win against the competition. Fintech platforms use data analytics to offer customized loan options unique to each borrower. And non-traditional credit sources like rent payments, utility bills, and other related monthly debt payments that show responsibility and reliability make loans more accessible to a larger pool of potential borrowers.
Whether it’s an offer of lower payments or reduced interest rates, a shorter lease or a longer loan period, today’s innovative solutions offer a workable plan for nearly any buyer, giving them greater control over their financial life and the chance to build a stronger credit profile that will benefit them in the long term. KISS!
Digital payment methods and apps
Finally, once the consumer is in their car, mobile apps and digital payment methods make consummating their new financial obligation easier than it’s ever been. Automatic payments take the worry out of remembering the due date each month. Account management for updating contact information or making payment changes can be performed online.
Balance inquiries make it easy to check how much is due or how long is left on the loan. Single payments for off-cycle buy-downs and pay-offs through mobile apps make it simple for borrowers to stay on top of their financial obligations.
It’s a win-win-win for lenders, sellers, and buyers in today’s digital Fintech world. Consumer-friendly choice and convenience ensures penny perfect payments. Chef’s KISS!
Aaron Bickart is general manager at OfferLogix