INTRODUCTION of GDPR over the past year appears to have boosted online motor finance conversion rates.
James Tew, Chief Executive if iVendi said that the company had expected the new legislation to reduce the conversion rate of customers that were applying for finance but instead there had been a marginal increase.
He said: “When we first started looking at the implications of GDPR a couple of years ago, we thought it was inevitable that putting tougher and more compliant processes in place would lead to a slight decrease in conversions.
“However, now that we are almost 12 months into its operation, the opposite has proven to be true. Within our secure customer account area, all other factors pertaining to approvals have remained largely unchanged but we have seen a rise of a few percentage points in conversions. GDPR appears to be the reason.”
Tew said that the experience was perhaps a valuable lesson for iVendi and the industry as a whole – that regulation could create a boost to business.
“We are being quite careful about the claims we are making here because it is difficult to say exactly why GDPR might have lead to better finance penetration.
“Our thinking is that there are probably two factors. One is that the existence of GDPR might make some customers more comfortable with the whole process.
“However, much more important, we believe, is that exercises like GDPR prompt good organisations into rising to the challenge and creating better products – and that is something that we believe that we have achieved.”
iVendi has invested more than £1 million in total to ensure that its platforms are GDPR compliant for the 7,000 dealers with which it works.
Key features created include a secure consumer account area, the ability to hide customer bank details from view once they have been entered into an application form, controls over the export of customer data and the addition of fair processing notices for lenders.
Tew said: “Like many other companies, we found that GDPR was a much bigger piece of work than we originally envisaged, simply because it affected so many aspects of the online motor retail platforms and products that we provide to dealers, manufacturers and lenders.
“The nature of something like GDPR means that you can never be 100% sure that you are 100% compliant but we are highly confident that our systems are as solid as humanly possible in this respect.
“As we work with larger and larger organisations, including international banks, the demand for absolute compliance in areas such as GDPR increases dramatically, and we believe that we are now among the market leaders in our sector.”