Chase, the consumer and commercial lending arm of JPMorganChase & Co., has launched a digital car shopping and financing tool for its customers in partnership with TrueCar Inc. The online tool aims to create a smoother process for customers and to increase business for Chase’s dealership clients.
The new program, Chase Auto Direct, is technically a direct lending model, but dealers still gain business, said Bruce Jackson, head of retail lending for Chase Auto Finance, the fourth largest U.S. auto lender.
“We wanted to have a process in which it was business as usual for [dealers],” he told Automotive News. “The dealers are center to this. We want consumers to have a great experience. We think the best way that happens is with a Chase dealer.”
In addition to its indirect lending platform, Chase has had a long-time direct-to-consumer lending business, but “this new online offering showcases our dealers’ vehicle inventory to more than 57 million Chase households in the United States,” Jackson said in a statement. “Dealers in the Chase network will now benefit from new leads that they didn’t have yesterday.”
On Chase.com, the bank’s existing customers will be able to select a car and view pricing online via TrueCar technology and get financing for a new- or used-vehicle loan.
After customers configure the vehicle they want to buy, Chase will present them with nearby dealership clients that have the vehicle in inventory. After that, the customer will complete the financing process online and the transaction at the dealership, Jackson told Automotive News.
That process means that when customers walk into the dealership, they are ready to buy, the statement said. Chase Auto Direct is available to existing Chase customers in 30 U.S. states and will roll out nationwide, and to noncustomers, in phases in early 2017.
Chase Auto Direct creates a “single, simplified process” for the dealer and the customer, he said.
Consumers are looking for a digital experience when it comes to banking, financing and car shopping, Jackson said, but F&I managers will still sell F&I products at the dealership, and dealers will receive a flat fee for the loan, which is a couple hundred dollars on average, Jackson said.
“We feel like the best experience for the consumer when they buy the car is at the dealership. We will continue to present these dealers,” Jackson said. “We hope it creates showroom traffic.
“We are not selling the cars,” he added. “The dealers are selling the cars.”
Chase predominantly lends to prime borrowers and has 14,000 dealership clients throughout the country, nearly all of which are franchised new-vehicle stores.