The number of customers using Bank of America's online shopping and auto financing portal has doubled since the end of 2017, less than a year after the company launched a pilot of the platform.
About 67,000 customers used the platform in the first quarter, twice as many as during the fourth quarter of 2017, CFO Paul Donofrio said during the company's earnings call this month.
And, half of the direct auto loans originated by Bank of America in the first quarter were arranged online, he said, showing customers' willingness to finance their vehicles online.
Forty-seven percent of consumers said they were comfortable handling the entire vehicle purchase online, from researching to financing, according to a survey commissioned by Chase Auto in September. The survey included 3,535 U.S. consumers. Chase launched Chase Auto Direct, a program similar to Bank of America's portal, in 2016.
Bank of America has rolled out its platform to 2,400 dealerships, after a May 2017 pilot at dealerships in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Customers use the portal to shop for a vehicle in their price range at a dealership in their area. Once they choose a vehicle and value their trade-in, customers can apply for an auto loan still within the platform and typically receive a decision in seconds, the bank said in a statement announcing the pilot.
Bank of America emails customers their loan approval and sends the lead to the selected dealership. The customer then visits the dealership for a test drive and to finalize paperwork.