The lender had been interested in trying remote e-signatures for about two years to bring automotive financing in line with the industry trend toward digital retailing, Bandmann said. Before COVID-19 accelerated plans, he added, Volkswagen Credit likely would have started a pilot within the next 12 months.
CDK's technology is now active at more than 3,600 dealerships after piloting in March and April, said Michael Seeman, CDK's vice president of customer success and enablement. CDK said it has enabled more than 6,400 vehicle deals to date.
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA also is using the technology. Seeman said CDK plans to add more automaker captives and national lenders to the platform in the next 12 months.
Mercedes-Benz's captive financing arm piloted Sign Anywhere in April and made it available in May to all dealerships that use CDK's DMS, said Kelly Jones, its digital sales experience manager. It builds on an e-contracting system Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has used since 2016. In all, 170 dealerships that use e-contracting on CDK's DMS can use Sign Anywhere, she said, though data on how many are using it is not yet available.
"There was a need given the COVID-19 situation," Jones said. "However, we've been working on this e-contracting solution for some time, and it was just quite timely that this functionality became available for our CDK dealers in order to make that contactless, remote-signing solution possible."
Dealerships using Sign Anywhere range from single-point stores to large public groups, including AutoNation Inc. The nation's largest dealership group started using the product in late April and 21 stores have been trained to use it so far, Marc Cannon, AutoNation's chief customer experience officer, said via email. The company plans to bring more stores onto the system.
"The greater win for finance and lease deals will be once all lenders allow remote signing capability," he wrote.