A new data product from Startline designed to maximise motor finance opportunities is being rolled out to major dealer groups beginning in Q4.

“Insights” is designed to allow dealers to gain a greater understanding of the finance deals they are processing and give them the means to identify new ways of driving business forward.

CEO Paul Burgess explained that its introduction was part of a general strategy of building closer relationships with dealers that had gained momentum during the pandemic.

“Probably the key lesson we have taken away from the coronavirus era is that car retailers want to work with motor finance providers who are enablers. They prefer partners who understand the issues that they face and who work to resolve them quickly.

“Dealers want all the boxes ticked that were required from motor finance before the crisis – a high degree of compliance, a strategic product range, strong account management – but are now looking for an increased degree of flexibility and commitment.

“That is something we have been delivering over the last 16 months and our business has grown as a result. Now, Insights is designed to build on that strategy by adding value to our relationships as we move into what is hopefully the post-pandemic phase.”

Paul explained that Insights made available a range of information that could be accessed online to help with everything from day-to-day management to major strategic decisions.

“Currently, like most motor finance companies, we don’t really provide the means for dealers and introducers to dig down into the motor finance business that they write with us but Insights changes that in a very emphatic way.

“It provides easy, graphical means of visibility over all key aspects of transactions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis but also offers information about customer credit profiles.”

Paul said that this data, used correctly, could help dealers to gain a greater understanding of their car buyers, potentially allowing them to identify new approaches to sales and marketing.

“It’s about putting motor finance data to work for car retailers. If they can identify trends that are developing among their customer base from our information, then there are probably ways in which they can change their proposition to meet those developing needs.

“We believe that motor finance data is much underused in this manner and that, correctly employed, it can deliver genuine innovation and incremental sales. This is the message that we’ll be taking to our major dealer partners in Q4, showing them how to get the most out of this information.”

Paul added that, heading into 2022, flexible and innovative initiatives such as Insights would potentially become even more important simply because it remained unclear how the market would develop.

“The used car market is going through an incredibly buoyant phase but there are threats to the general economy that are very difficult to predict, such as the effects of the end of furloughing and the longer term impact of the pandemic.

“There will be a need to adapt to market conditions quickly and without fuss, and we believe that the motor finance providers that are able to meet that need will continue to be the suppliers with which dealers will prefer to work.”