Despite a tough economic environment, many of the asset finance providers I talk to are confident about their growth prospects in 2023. And one of the biggest opportunities at the moment lies in green finance.
Whether they are leasing more electric vehicles, financing the charging infrastructure that supports them or providing assets on a pay-as-you-go basis, more firms are proving they can grow by greening up their business model.
But can their operations keep up? By providing a greater range of green products and services, lessors can certainly play an important role in helping businesses and consumers lower their carbon emissions. The challenge now is to do it more efficiently,
with faster, smoother and, yes, greener fulfillment processes.
Like unsecured loan providers, asset finance firms have made great strides in automating and accelerating the decision-making part of the deal life cycle. But typically, they lose momentum when it comes to fulfilling the transaction.
The fact is that secured lending is far more complex to transact and administer than unsecured loans, often involving a lot of manual effort. That not only makes it costlier for asset finance firms to scale up their business and support growth, but also
stops them giving customers what they want most – speed to cash.
The good news is that the latest advancements in technology can help. It’s now possible, for example, to fully digitalize and automate a process that’s long held back the leasing industry – the receiving and paying of invoices. With artificial intelligence
(AI) powering their invoice-to-pay workflow, firms can cut out hours of manual keying and, most importantly, serve their customers faster and better.
As well as keeping customers happy, this kind of end-to-end digitization is often better for the environment than manual workflows. In the case of the invoice-to-pay process, less paper is used and less carbon is involved in moving invoices from A to B,
paying suppliers – and, ultimately, supporting customers on their journey to net zero.
With innovative digital technology, lessors are in a stronger position to drive a low-carbon agenda and take a high-touch approach to customer service. For the fastest, greenest growth, you need cutting-edge operations.