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SINGLE point dealer processes that track all motor finance activity could prove essential to meeting the Consumer Duty principle recently announced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

James Tew, Chief Executive at motor retail technology business iVendi, said that the ability to record, review and audit all aspects of the consumer journey in one place would prove an important part of the new responsibility to “put customer needs first”.

He said: “We’re working our way with lenders and dealers through Consumer Duty, interpreting what it means in material terms for how motor finance is sold, especially increased recording of information and how that needs to be managed.

“There’s no doubt that it raises the bar and therefore represents quite a substantial shift compared to the way that business is being conducted now, placing a potentially much greater responsibility on tracking consumer activity every step of the way, whether that is happening online or in the showroom.

“The conclusion we are coming to is that on a practical level, any dealer that has a multi-lender panel and is running individual processes and systems for each – something that is by no means unusual – is going to have a difficult time ensuring that the necessary information is being logged by each in an appropriate manner.

“Instead of running perhaps three, four or five platforms in parallel and ensuring that they are all meeting the FCA’s requirements, it makes much more sense to run one ‘single point’ system that is compliant and gathers all the data in one place.

“Crucially, the solutions that prove most effective are going to have to work for the hybrid buyers who switch between showroom and digital channels at will. These make up the vast majority of consumers buying cars in the 2020s.”

Tew said that he believed that the systems iVendi offered already met the requirements that the FCA had outlined but discussions about compliance were ongoing with lenders and dealers.

“It’s a subject around which there can be no compromise and we are committed to ensuring that the technology we provide does as much as possible to ensure that Consumer Duty is met in full.

“While the new principle doesn’t take effect for 9-21 months, it is our intention to be ready well in advance of that deadline in order to support our partners in a comprehensive manner.”

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