The ‘Zink’ technology developed by AusLoans over two years gives dealers a customer credit assessment within a few minutes and requires only the scan of the customer’s driving licence.
Zink has been trialled over the past few months by some dealer groups in Queensland and will be launched in January. It will then be offered to 1100 dealerships around Australia.
AusLoans managing director Rodney Michail told GoAutoNews Premium that Zink, developed and patented by AusLoans, had tripled productivity for its in-house brokers since beginning trials in October.
He said that the impetus for the software development was what he saw as frustration by dealership salespeople, business managers and financiers about the time taken to get potential customers approved.
“Customers want a result about how much they can afford, or how much is available, immediately,” he said.
“With this technology, you can have a ‘traffic light’ assessment – green is a go, orange may warrant further investigation and red is, unfortunately, not eligible for a loan at this time. It can take as little as two minutes.
“For a dealership to make this assessment in that amount of time is a game-changer.”
Mr Michail said the benefit of Zink was twofold – it increased productivity while ensuring compliance. Compliance is a major issue facing the automotive industry in the wake of the Hayne commission and impending new dealership finance licensing laws, expected to be in place by mid-2020.
“We have already experienced a threefold increase in productivity with our in-house team and believe Zink will have even greater efficiencies for dealerships,” he said.
“I am confident that in that setting, we will be able to double that number again.”
Mr Michail said Zink is about gathering information from scanning the customer’s driving licence. Zink’s access to databases, from several credit outlets, the tax office, identification sources and so on, allows the information to be collected and presented.
“That’s the first click,” he said.
“The second click is for the verification of the information – for example, address, employment, open loans and so on. That gives a quick understanding of how much the customer can afford.
“For customers to take the third step with banking access, we analyse all the bank transactions. So we can say then how much the customer can afford. That’s the three-click approach.
“From there, the customer can select finance from up to 40 lenders that work with AusLoans.”
He said Zink could then be extended to show what vehicles suit the customer in price, style, valuation, age and so on.
Mr Michail said the point-of-sale finance system could come to an end in July 2020 “so the dealers will then have to become finance brokers and could either use the credit licence of the floorplan finance or become a brokerage to service customers and have to take on specialised staff”.
He said Zink would be a major aid in helping dealerships learn very quickly the ability of the customer to get a loan, and how much the customer could borrow.
“Zink is about taking a bit away from the finance broker and putting it in the hands of the customer and the salesperson,” he said.
Mr Michail said AusLoans is also developing a consumer version that allows customers to do the same process but without the salesperson.
“It’s a self-assessment for pre-approval for a loan, so they can complete this and then walk into a dealership and present the information,” he said.
“The consumer can then make a decision about how much they want to pay and what interest they are prepared to accept.
“It could be that the customer may want less finance and will accept a lower interest rate, or more money for a better model at a higher rate. It’s their choice and not a salesperson pushing them into something that could be unsuitable.
“The customer can, in their own time, work out what’s more important to them – the interest rate or how much they want to borrow.”
This consumer-focused Zink feature will become available next year.
By Neil Dowling