Payix names finance & accounting leader

Zarate has worked in corporate financial roles for 10 years, including as controller for Innovate Auto Finance. Prior to working for Innovate, she also held positions with Alcon Laboratories and Marketing Management.

“We are very excited to add Priscilla to the Payix leadership team. She brings tremendous experience and financial discipline to the organization, which will be of great help to us as we develop our client base and grow our business,” Chestnut said.

Bank Muscat offers Ramadan Sayyarati auto finance option

Guaranteeing the fastest turnaround, the feature-rich Sayyarati finance can be obtained within the shortest possible time at low interest rates starting from 3.5 per cent, equivalent to the 1.91 per cent flat rate. The Sayyarati package includes financing for up to eight years for new and used vehicles, the lowest monthly payment option, on-the-spot approvals and option for motor insurance funding with the lowest monthly payment in the market.

Customers are not required to furnish post-dated cheques, making Sayyarati the easy, convenient and completely hassle-free way to own a new car. Notably, Sayyarati finance can be obtained from all Bank Muscat branches spread across Oman.

Facilitating convenience during Ramadan, the Sayyarati Centre at Wattayah will have extended timings. Customers can also apply for Sayyarati finance through Saed sales unit.

Abdullah Tamman al Mashani, DGM – Institutional Sales amp; Products Development, said, “Unique in all aspects with unparalleled benefits, Sayyarati is the preferred vehicle finance facility in Oman for both citizens and expatriates. The Ramadan offer includes various unique benefits, making it quicker, easier and more affordable to own one’s dream vehicle. Oman is home to the world’s best known automobile brands. By encouraging people to buy top quality vehicles, Bank Muscat reiterates its commitment to road safety, thereby promoting safety and happiness in Oman.”

Sayyarati auto finance enhances the value proposition offered to customers across all dealers and brands, including motor insurance at low premium through the bancassurance channel of Bank Muscat. Post-dated cheques are not required; payment is automatically debited on a monthly basis. Customers can visit any auto dealership or Bank Muscat branches to avail the special Ramadan Sayyarati finance.

Record audience as IAFN conference reveals future of auto finance

Technology is driving fundamental changes in the auto finance market, disrupting the supply chain and transforming the ways in which the industry operates, delegates at the annual International Auto Finance Network conference heard on Tuesday.

Car debt adds horns to UK’s Brexit vulnerability

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Britain’s credit boom is a cause for concern. Not for the obvious reasons: rates are low and the banking sector is sturdy. The issue lies with another big UK industry – cars.

Auto finance is driving up the stock of non-mortgage debt, which includes credit cards and personal loans and hit 197 billion pounds at end-March. That’s close to the 2008 financial crisis peak, and household debt as a proportion of disposable income is rising. Since 2014, car finance has consistently been the biggest driver of annual consumer credit growth, which is now running at more than 10 percent.

UK rates, banking sector steady but runaway auto finance is a major concern

Britains credit boom is a cause for concern. Not for the obvious reasons – rates are low and the banking sector is sturdy. The issue lies with another big UK industry: cars.

Auto finance is driving up the stock of non-mortgage debt, which includes credit cards and personal loans and hit 197 billion pounds ($253.78 billion) at end-March. Thats close to the 2008 financial crisis peak, and household debt as a proportion of disposable income is rising. Since 2014, car finance has consistently been the biggest driver of annual consumer credit growth, which is now running at more than 10 percent.

Unlike 2008, lenders are not likely to be hugely exposed. The Bank of England says they have enough capital to swallow over 18 billion pounds of consumer credit impairments that might stem from a doubling in the unemployment rate. Instead, the personal contract purchase deals popular with Britains drivers leave exposure with the finance provider, which tends to be a car manufacturer. The latter typically buys back the car for a residual value after a certain period.

Delinquencies on bonds backed by car loans are no higher than in 2014, according to Moodys. Still, the residual value of bought-back cars has fallen over the same period. The auto industry, which employs 814,000 in the UK, inherently has a reason to keep pushing car finance, because it improves sales of vehicles. Moreover, companies have an incentive to overstate residual values so they can justify offering finance at a lower fee.

Imagine real wage growth stalls – say, because Britain fails to secure a decent trade deal with its European peers when it leaves the EU. There would be less demand for auto finance, and less willingness to provide it. Already, consumer confidence is at its lowest since last Junes referendum. The Bank of England reckons that two-fifths of the fall in UK consumer spending after 2007 came from outlays by households with higher debt levels on bigger-ticket items like cars.

An automotive slowdown would hit Britains prospects. If carmakers stop pushing cheap finance, and fewer cars get bought, they are likely to start reining in production of vehicles in the UK, which hit a 17-year high in 2016, according to trade body SMMT. Banks or no banks, if the credit boom stalls the economy will feel it.

The author is George Hay, a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The article was first published on Reuters Breakingviews. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn

Vehicle Restrictions with Bad Credit

You can’t finance just any car if you have credit problems because most subprime lenders have vehicle restrictions on the kinds of cars you can finance.

Vehicle Restriction Questions

Because we have spent the past two decades working with credit-challenged car buyers here at Auto Credit Express, we currently receive at least two hundred questions each month, most of them dealing with auto finance. Here is just one:

“I have already been shopping for a vehicle and was wondering if there are any restrictions on the vehicle, as far as a loan is concerned?”

There are a few things here that need to be discussed, so let’s begin.

We Are Not a Lender

Like many questions we receive, it looks like this borrower thinks Auto Credit Express is a bank. We aren’t. What we do is match consumers to dealers in their area that work with a wide range of lenders. Even if this person has less than perfect credit, the finance department should have the experience to understand their situation.

Auto finance changes gear

In many ways the Chinese auto industry has undergone seismic transformation in the past ten years. It surpassed the US as the largest vehicle sales market in 2009, and is now also one of the largest motor insurance markets in the world.

With this growth, we have also witnessed a significant change in the industry structure, a trend that we see is playing out in China as it is in Europe. Be it Tesla’s electric car launch, Google’s driverless car technology or the emergence of Uber and its Chinese equivalent Didi, new technologies are changing the mobility preference of a generation of Chinese consumers.

The pressure to rationalise production capacity is likely to intensify. Sales of new vehicles, though still growing, are unlikely to continue at the brisk pace that they once did. In many ways China is now following the footsteps of more mature auto markets such as the US. OEMs and dealers in mature markets have long turned to alternative revenue sources to make up for their vehicle sales which enjoys at best anaemic growth.

Auto fmance in particular has been a focal point of their efforts. This is unsurprising given its complementarity with vehicle sales: not only do financial products facilitate vehicle sales, they also help OEMs and dealers capture a large share of the customer wallet.

We believe that similar trends will be increasingly at play in China, which will allow the industry to signlficantly improve its revenue and profit model. However, with the advent of in-car technologies and multi-channel consumer touchpoints, opportunities in auto finance are for the picking by those who have a coherent customer proposition and channel strategy.

Great leaps

The Chinese auto finance sector has made huge strides in recent years. By way of illustration, the auto loan market grew more than three times in size from RMB 15bn in 2009 to RMB 66bn 2014, or 30% year-on-year growth.

Having only recently overcome the cultural barrier that prevented most from buying consumer goods on credit, the average Chinese buyer is beginning to embrace the benefits of auto finance, namely the liquidity and convenience that it brings.

However, a comparison between China’s market and more mature markets in terms of auto industry profit contribution by source would indicate that the China auto finance sector still has much room to develop.

Whilst auto finance is typically the largest profit contributor in mature markets, accounting for 28% of total industry profit, the corresponding figure for China is a mere 7%.

Looking at penetration of auto-related financial products tells a similar story. Penetration was around 30% of vehicle sales in 2015, a significant increase from 18% in 2011. By 2020 this is expected to reach 50%, primarily supported by higher consumer demand and pushed by OEMs and dealers to increase penetration. Even then, auto finance in China would still be lagging more mature markets such as the US and UK, pointing to significant headroom for development in the long term.

But serving future consumers would require a re-think of the current business model. We believe auto finance providers need to do much better in understanding and engaging their customers in order to serve the new generation of Chinese consumers who will be the driving force of growth in auto finance.

Compared to the prior generations, younger consumers are more financially sophisticated and appreciate the benefits of financial products. They are also more technically savvy and increasingly rely on a multitude of web-based resources to inform their purchasing decisions. One could therefore easily imagine a consumer who arrives at a dealer having a relatively well-formed view of the cars to buy as well as the source of financing to use. This is likely to create challenges for auto finance companies that have relied mostly on physical dealer networks as channels to market.

Increasing use of the Internet for research has also made product comparison easier, creating a need for auto finance companies to differentiate themselves, either from a product or a consumer experience angle. As a case in point, some auto fmance providers are tailoring their products to different customer segments to better differentiate eg, for customers who have less predictable cashflow, repayment is split into two tranches: 50% upfront and 50% by end of payment term. Some auto finance providers have also begun to bundle their financial products and services, billing them as tools to deliver superior customer value. For example, Toyota now offers eight repair services for free as a part of their purchase loan offer.

The answer to these must be a re-think of the customer proposition and channel strategy. Some OEMs in mature markets have already embarked on this strategic shift: Mercedes has recendy launched Mercedes Me, a web-based portal that combines financial services, repair services, roadside rescue and mobility services, with a stated aim to deliver a “one-stop-shop” customer experience.

The Chinese auto finance market is primarily served by three types of providers: commercial banks, auto finance companies and other specialist providers including leasing companies, web-based financial companies and P2P lenders. Commercial banks have a natural advantage with low capital costs and extensive geographical reach through their branch networks. But they are poorly configured in an increasingly consumer-centric environment: their approval processes are long and their ability to tailor products to specific requirements is low. Above all, they are slow to respond to changing consumer trends.

In comparison, auto fmance companies and other specialist providers, which collectively account for the remaining 50% of the market, are better positioned. They are much closer to the consumers and have been at the forefront of many of the innovations in auto finance. Their product range is wide and deep, and approval processes are much more efficient. These providers also have lower qualifying requirements than commercial banks and could therefore tap into a much wider addressable market. Indeed, it is their ability to respond to customer needs that has allowed them to prosper despite having higher capital cost than commercial banks.

With the wealth of customer data that these auto finance providers possess, the challenge would be to leverage it to develop insights into customer demographics, purchasing behaviour and channel preferences that can ultimately inform their customer strategy. This is no easy feat for many of these companies, but there are a compelling strategic reasons to act now

The value chain of auto finance in China is likely to change in the coming years, with large and well-funded players entering the sector. For instance, Alibaba has set up an “internet car” fund with SAIC Motor to develop vehicle telematics, with the first model launching in July 2016.

In April 2016 Alibaba also rolled out a new purchase loan app called “Instant Automobile Financing”. It promises loan approval within 24 hours, which is a significant reduction in leadtime when compared to the 3-5 day approval process that is typical even for the more efficient auto finance companies. By analysing wider consumer data on the web (using big data tools), a full consumer credit profile could be constructed in a matter of hours, allowing credit approval processes to be accelerated significantly.

The credit profile could also help auto finance providers tailor their products and pricing for specific customers. Tencent, JD and Baidu have already joined forces to roll out a competing service called DaiKuan.

The emergence of these new technologies have allowed auto finance providers unprecedented access to their customers and their information. In return, consumers will be increasingly demanding in the products and services they receive and the speed with which they are delivered.

A successful player in the future would have to combine customer insights, product portfolio, channel strategy and speedy execution. Technologies have always proved more destructive than industry participants are willing to believe. The time to act is now.

Which countries are driving Auto and Equipment Finance growth in the Asia Pacific region?

Among established markets, the greatest growth will come from two of the biggest regional economies of China and India.

CHINA

China in particular stands out for delivering very high growth for a large, established economy, with industry experts predicting asset finance will rise more than 20% during 2017.

Motor finance, healthcare and construction are all expected to perform well throughout 2017.

INDIA

India is a strong growth market for asset finance, with demand expected to rise by up to 15%.

The country may well be at the start of a period of rapid expansion that mirrors China’s recent economic journey.

However,legislation and culture may have a limiting effect.

Nidhi Bothra, of Vinod Kothari Consultants, said: “The appearance of various equipment on the financial statements seem to indicate strength in financials. Indian entities are not accustomed to the idea of being ‘balance -sheet light’.”

By contrast, more mature markets are less buoyant.

AUSTRALIA

In Australia, asset finance growth expectations are between 0% and 5% for 2017, albeit in a much larger market than emerging economies.

In the latest set of figures released by the Australian Equipment Lessors Association, new business volumes in general equipment finance were up 1.8% year-on-year in 2016 to $38.6 billion (2015: $37.9bn).

Fleet leasing enjoyed substantially higher growth of 21.4%, but from a lower start point, to account for $5.1bn of additional business (2015: $4.2bn).

JAPAN

In Japan, the leasing market declined slightly last year, although certain sectors, including transport, medical equipment and chemical equipment bucked the trend.

SUMMARY

The report notes that the entire region is experiencing the impact of global political changes, including the election of President Donald Trump in the US and escalating tensions over North Korea.

The decision of the US to end its involvement in the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement at the start of 2017, in particular, may jeopardise smaller economies, but the impact on China currently appears limited.

There are also local political risks in other countries in the region, with economies adjusting to new elections in Hong Kong, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

To find out more download White Clarke Group’s complimentary Asia Pacific Asset and Auto Finance Survey 2017.

TCF Receives NICE 2017 Customer Excellence Award for Customer Experience

WAYZATA, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TCF Financial Corporation (TCF) (NYSE: TCF) today announced that it is
the winner of a NICE (Nasdaq:NICE) 2017 Customer Excellence Award. This
award recognizes customers who have demonstrated innovation and
leadership in their approach to reinventing customer experience.

“Our 2017 award
winners represent true leadership in the contact center market, and are
setting an example for the rest of the industry on how to drive
measurable improvements in operational efficiency and customer
satisfaction, and ultimately achieve business impact.”

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TCF Bank received this award at the Interactions-ICUC 2017 global
customer conference in Las Vegas, the largest customer service industry
event. The company was recognized for its excellence in customer
experience.

The Customer Experience Excellence Award recognizing organizations for
significantly improving customer experience by implementing the NICE
solutions to analyze omnichannel customer interactions in real time and
take informed action.

“Congratulations to this year’s winners. We are proud to recognize the
achievements of our customers, who are using the NICE and inContact
solutions to reinvent customer service in their day-to-day operations,”
said Yaron Hertz, president of NICE Americas. “Our 2017 award
winners represent true leadership in the contact center market, and are
setting an example for the rest of the industry on how to drive
measurable improvements in operational efficiency and customer
satisfaction, and ultimately achieve business impact.”

“Our purpose is to serve customers in a way that makes their financial
lives easier. To achieve this purpose we have invested in programs, like
Voice of the Customer, to understand our customers’ needs. Understanding
what our customers are thinking and feeling about their experience has
been critical to transforming our culture into a customer centric one,”
said Mike Jones, TCF’s executive vice president of Consumer Banking.

About TCF
TCF is a Wayzata, Minnesota-based national bank
holding company. As of March 31, 2017, TCF had $21 billion in total
assets and 331 branches in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan,
Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, providing retail and commercial
banking services. TCF, through its subsidiaries, also conducts
commercial leasing, equipment finance, and auto finance business in all
50 states and commercial inventory finance business in all 50 states and
Canada. For more information about TCF, visit tcfbank.com.

About NICE
NICE (Nasdaq:NICE) is the worldwide leading
provider of both cloud and on-premises enterprise software solutions
that empower organizations to make smarter decisions based on advanced
analytics of structured and unstructured data. NICE helps organizations
of all sizes deliver better customer service, ensure compliance, combat
fraud and safeguard citizens. Over 25,000 organizations in more than 150
countries, including over 85 of the Fortune 100 companies, are using
NICE solutions.

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CFPB and FTC confirm scrutiny of ancillary products

At the Auto Finance Risk and Compliance Summit held this week, Calvin Hagins, CFPB Deputy Assistant Director for Originations, stated that the CFPB is increasingly asking lenders about ancillary product programs during examinations, particularly about the percentage of consumers buying these products.

In June 2015, when the CFPB released its larger participant rule for nonbank auto finance companies, it also issued auto finance examination procedures in which ancillary products, like GAP insurance and extended service contracts, received heavy attention. We commented that by giving so much attention to these products, the CFPB was signaling its intention to give lots of scrutiny to these products in the auto finance market. Mr. Hagins’s comments confirm that the CFPB is in fact looking closely at these products in exams.

Speaking at the Summit as a member of a regulatory panel, Mr. Hagins indicated that companies should expect to get questions from CFPB examiners about ancillary products. He indicated that the CFPB specifically looks at how the product is offered to the consumer, when in the contracting process is it offered, how disclosures are being provided to the consumer, and the acceptance rate. As an example, he indicated that a 95% acceptance rate would cause CFPB examiners to raise questions about how the rate was achieved.

At the Summit, Colin Hector, an FTC attorney, indicated that the FTC is also interested in ancillary products, particularly whether there is a potential for consumer deception in how they are sold. He commented that, in its enforcement work, the FTC has focused on ancillary product sales that occur at the end of the sales process when consumers may be led to believe they must purchase the products to obtain financing and the seller has increased leverage because the consumer is more invested in completing the transaction.