Many consumers are locked out when it comes to being able to buy the vehicle they need. But thanks to a program developed by André-Martin Hobbs, they’re able to connect with dealerships to find the financing they need
MONTREAL, Aug. 18, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Creating a new way for consumers to get what they need by accessing tools previously unavailable has earned the founder of a technology financing company recognition among his peers.
The International Transportation & Automotive Summit recognized DecisioningIt’s founder and president André-Martin Hobbs in July. He was bestowed with the Excellence in Transportation & Automotive Award, which recognized his “unparalleled contributions” to the industry. The group recognized Hobbs’ efforts behind a program called “Lucy” as part of “the foundation for a better tomorrow.”
Lucy isn’t a “who” — rather, it is a “what.” Lucy is a tool that utilizes technology new to vehicle dealership circles. It’s operated by DecisioningIT, a technology company dedicated to making vehicle financing easier for consumers. The company is creating a new standard in non-prime lending thanks to Lucy, helping automotive dealerships connect with consumers who have a history of trouble getting the financing they need to achieve their dreams.
That’s because it’s even tougher these days for some to get the vehicle they want or need. The global COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the finances of some. For those unlucky consumers, the dream of buying a new car was out of their reach.
That is, until now. Through Lucy, anyone who needs financing to buy their next vehicle can do so. The innovative platform is revolutionizing the way automotive dealerships help their customers.
The issue: Consumer financing lacks transparency where the work is done manually, explains Hobbs, a tech industry veteran.
“We brought science to a process that was dependent on people and their experience,” he says.
To build such technology, DecisioningIT needed to assemble a team of finance and insurance (F&I) managers and IT developers to transfer knowledge and build Lucy as a group.
“This wasn’t an easy task,” Hobbs admits. “I originally thought it would take me one year to build. But it took five years to get to where we are today.”
DecisioningIT sees more than 85% accuracy on Lucy’s decisions.
“The platform was built to be user friendly, reliable and fast,” Hobbs explains. “The manual work required by an F&I manager to look into someone’s file is lengthy. Even the best of the best take at least 30 minutes to look at Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus, bank statements and then to find the right lenders according to their financing criteria and finally send applications to get their prospects approved at credit.
“Lucy does all of this in just 16 seconds — without mistakes and with the most updated lender programs.”
For consumers, they benefit from Lucy’s knowledge and its ability to counter mistakes that F&I managers can make — and harm their credit profiles.
Lucy doesn’t just help those who need help due to their credit profiles; it also helps those whose profiles are pristine. No matter what the customer profile looks like, Lucy can help F&I managers select the right lender programs in just seconds — maximizing profit while offering the lowest payment to consumers.
“Therefore, Lucy saves time and raises profits,” Hobbs says.
How did Lucy come to be? Hobbs one day asked five F&I managers to look at five client files. They each interpreted the files differently and came up with varying degrees of solutions. The lack of consistency proved to Hobbs that there needs to be a better way to serve clients.
“The challenge consumers face without knowing it is that their financing options vary according to each and every F&I manager,” Hobbs says. “This impacts years of vehicle payments with potentially interest rates that are too high.
“So not only is it difficult to get financial institutions to approve non-prime consumers, but F&I manager can literally scrap their credit file and create years of financial difficulty for their clients,” he adds.
So Lucy takes the guesswork out of the F&I manager’s job.
“Lucy makes sure there aren’t mistakes when processing the consumer file,” Hobbs says. “In the very close future, Lucy will be available online on dealer websites, so consumers won’t have to wait to get pre-approved. They will get it live, from the comfort of their home.”
Taking the process down from at least half an hour to a quarter of a minute is just good business for dealers, who can maximize their profits and provide their customers with accurate info, Hobbs notes.
“We made sure the interface is easy to understand. Our users are not highly technical,” he says. “In just one click, Lucy starts the appraisal of the consumer history and returns a list of lenders. It’s all web-based and simple to access.”
And for automakers, Lucy means they can offer their product to the 20% of Canadians and one-third of Americans who are non-prime.
“Our technology allows them to offer an online solution and non-prime consumers can also access digital retailing,” Hobbs explains.
Learn more on the Lucy F&I Platform.