Darwin's software uses algorithms to analyze a customer's answers to needs-based questions, transaction information, ownership history and other details from the auto retailer's dealership management system. Through predictive analytics, it scores F&I products based on the need and the likelihood that the customer would purchase those products.
"With Darwin, the needs of a consumer are paramount in determining which products and services can best fit those needs," Darwin CEO Phillip Battista said in a statement. "Out of respect to men and women who have served, we want to provide the highest possible level of transparency at no cost and so have integrated [Military Lending Act] qualification screening into our Darwin platform at no charge to our dealer and lender clients."
The new interpretation of the Military Lending Act has left much of the auto finance industry scrambling. Since it was published, most of Darwin's dealership clients have asked customers about their military status, but Darwin built in screening from the Military Lending Act website to help identify service members and their dependents.
"If the customer or one of their dependents serves in the military, the system won't let [the dealership] sell GAP or credit life or let the interest rate exceed 36 percent," Battista told Automotive News.
Battista sees the upgraded platform as a long-term solution for dealerships to remain compliant, but he expects that details of the Military Lending Act may change.
"GAP is a tremendous value for the consumer. I think there is a misconception around that product and that's why it's being eliminated from being able to be sold to military personnel," Battista said. "I think that will change over time."