Bank of America puts auto-shopping on the mobile

Source: Bank of America

Bank of America has launched new capabilities for mobile clients to complete the auto financing process with the company.

Clients can now search for a car from participating dealerships - all on their mobile device or computer and before ever visiting a dealership. The program will begin with a pilot period in the Carolinas and expand across the country in a phased rollout that will continue throughout the year.

“These new capabilities deliver on our ongoing promise to provide our clients an enhanced and transparent experience derived from our leadership in mobile banking technology,” said D. Steve Boland, head of Consumer Lending. “Our convenient auto shopping experience allows clients to search for cars at local dealerships and get their Bank of America financing completed in one place and on their own time, whether on the go or in the comfort of their home.”

“Technology is shifting the auto-buying process towards greater transparency, with the vast majority of those looking for a vehicle now beginning their shopping online,” said Michelle Moore, head of Digital Banking. “Enabling buyers to perform the bulk of their browsing and research - and even arranging financing - on a mobile device makes the experience that much more efficient and convenient for them.”

Car shoppers can now seamlessly integrate their shopping and financing experience by selecting new or used cars from participating dealerships, estimating their monthly payment, and applying for a Bank of America loan on the specific car selected prior to their dealer visit and all in one place. The car shopping service is optional, and clients will still be able to obtain a bank loan approval, not linked to a specific vehicle, if they wish.

The process is simple:

The tool allows the user to locate their preferred vehicle, look up the closest participating dealerships and find an available vehicle in their price range.
Then, the user can move directly to applying for a Bank of America loan through the tool, typically receiving a decision within seconds. Once approved, the user receives an official approval letter via email.
After that, shoppers can go to the dealer, take a test drive and finalize the sale and financing transaction with the dealer.

“We’ve achieved the seamless experience our clients have told us they want,” says Boland. “When people go to the dealership, they want to focus on the car purchase and not the financing.”

Bank of America’s car shopping tool offers several significant enhancements for consumers.

Users simply follow a few steps on their mobile device or computer and then go into a portal to view inventory displayed by a participating dealership to check out their car.
Other digital shopping tools send users’ phone and email information to local dealers at the time the user makes an inquiry, but Bank of America’s does not, protecting client privacy. After a car and dealer are chosen and a loan amount is approved, client information and the loan approval will then be shared with the dealer in order to complete the transaction.
Unlike other tools, anyone can use Bank of America’s car shopping resource. It doesn’t require an existing customer relationship for users to take advantage of it.
There is no obligation, and clients can change their mind at any time. At the dealer, they may decide on a different color, different options, or a completely different car - they are in control.

In addition to the shopping benefits of the tool, Bank of America’s 30-day rate lock guarantee gives clients the time to make a decision.

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