During the coronavirus, remote vehicle deliveries are essential. But as dealerships become accustomed to remote e-signing tools and customers stay away for fear of endangering themselves or their families, will contact-free car sales become more normalized?
Among the software companies offering free or reduced-price services during the COVID-19 closures, finance-and-insurance software provider RouteOne is offering remote e-sign at no cost through May.
The product has been available since 2017, but the jump in interest over the past few weeks has been significant.
Dealer enrollment for RouteOne's remote e-sign service rose more than 400 percent from February through March, the company said, up to about 1,900 dealerships. Also, contract volume rose 59 percent in that same time frame. Though large increases, the software company notes remote e-sign deals remain a small portion of the transactions it supports.
Lenders, too, are accepting remote e-signatures. Three in four electronic contracts processed through RouteOne come from finance sources using remote signatures, the company said.
Software companies have a lot to gain offering their products at reduced rates during the crisis. And perhaps dealership adoption after the crisis ends will taper off. But given that consumers enjoy the convenience of remote e-sign and likely won't feel comfortable returning to dealership showrooms anytime soon, dealerships may be forced to rely on this feature for the foreseeable future.