Thought Leadership

Putting motor finance data to work for dealers

Paul Burgess, CEO, Startline Motor Finance

Motor finance companies such as ours generate a lot of data and historically we’ve been good at interrogating that information to spot useful trends and signals. It’s this kind of expertise that allows us to underwrite with accuracy, for example.

However, it’s probably fair to say that we’ve not been quite so good at sharing that data and those skills with dealers and other introducers - but lately we’ve been looking at new and innovative ways of changing that situation as part of a wide-ranging digitisation project that was planned before the pandemic and has continued through the last year.

We have two reasons for wanting to use our data more imaginatively in this way. Firstly, we want to build closer relationships with those partners and secondly, we recognise that the right initiatives can be used to add value and ultimately profitability for all.

The principal result of this thinking is a new solution called Insights that we plan to make available to vehicle retailers and other introducers soon. It’s a range of online tools that will allow them to dig deeper into the finance deals they write with us – and with others - to gain greater understanding. 

With Insights, we aim to deliver information that can be accessed online to help with everything from day-to-day management to major strategic decisions. That means providing easy visibility over all key aspects of transactions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis but also offering information about customer scorecards, credit bandings and credit quality. Our belief is that this data, used correctly, could help businesses to identify new approaches to motor finance sales and marketing.

Paul Burgess, CEO, Startline Motor Finance

It is all about putting the data to work for dealers and introducers. If you can identify trends that are developing among your customer base from our information, then there may be ways in which you can evolve your proposition to meet their needs. We believe that the information we gather is much underused in this manner and that correctly employed, it can add to your bottom line. We can’t wait to show it to dealers and see how they use it in real world conditions.

Alongside the development of Insights for external use, our other main digitisation project has been to look in detail at how we use technology inside the business, with investments designed to improve the in-life journey of motor finance end users through offering increased digitisation of key services. The aim is to enable these customers to reach the information they want as quickly as possible online and then allow them to easily take whatever actions they need. For us, these are key differentiators in the current market.

There’s one final point I want to make about digitisation and it is very much a lesson drawn from the pandemic crisis. It has become clear to us during the last year – both with internal and external systems investments - that the ongoing management of the technology that we as a motor finance company adopt is as important as the systems itself.  For example, we’re putting huge effort at the moment into making our speed of approval ever faster. Any improvement we can make, even if it is measured in seconds, seemingly has a positive impact on the customer journey.

Looking to the future, we are aiming to increasingly treat digitisation as not just a long-term, major project but paying attention to real-world systems and processes that are used on a day-to-day basis, and spotting where pragmatic and positive changes can be made. This has definite value for us, for dealers and introducers, and for their customers.

About Startline Motor Finance

Startline Motor Finance uses a unique mix of technology, financial acumen and human skills to often approve applicants who have been previously declined by mainstream prime lenders, while still offering attractive and competitive rates and terms. We now work with more than half of the UK’s top 50 dealers by turnover, adding flexibility to their lending panels and meeting the needs of car buyers who might otherwise be lost by vehicle retailers and other introducers. Managed by a highly experienced motor finance team, the business is headquartered in Glasgow with a sales presence throughout the whole of the UK.

Contact details

Startline Motor Finance Ltd
Suite 4/5 - Skypark 1
8 Elliot Place
Glasgow, G3 8EP

+44 (0) 1270 525 218