U.S. Bank has launched a new feature on its website that allows consumers to shop for a new car and get pre-approved for a loan, all before actually stepping foot in a dealership.
Working with financial technology startup AutoGravity, U.S. Bank created a new platform on usbank.com that provides a simplified, streamlined loan application process for users. The end result? Consumers can find the car they want, identify the dealer who has it, and get a loan decision in a matter of minutes.
We talked with Gareth Gaston, executive vice president, Omnichannel Experience and Support, to learn more about it.
Gareth: One of the things that is challenging for customers is to navigate through complex situations. Buying a car can be complicated – not only picking the car you want, but choosing the dealership and then getting approved for a loan. This tool helps consumers easily figure out what their options are based on the car they would like, what they can afford to borrow and where they want to complete the purchase. And you can do it all from the comfort of your armchair.
Gareth: So you want a new SUV. You go to the U.S. Bank website, find the vehicle you'd like, with the options you'd like and price you'd like. From there, you have an amount that you want to borrow and we will tell you whether or not you are approved for the loan, usually in just a few minutes, and the dealers where you can complete the loan. Then you go to the dealership, close the loan and drive off in your new SUV.
Gareth: I think this is a win-win-win, because we are not trying to compete with the auto dealer, but help them get more customers. So it's a win for the customer because it's an easy, transparent tool that helps them figure out how and where they can buy a specific car. It's a win for the dealer because we are bringing in highly qualified customers, and perhaps even customers who might not have thought to come to them. And if it's a win for customers and a win for dealers, it's a win for us.
Gareth: U.S. Bank is constantly tracking technology trends and what fintech companies are doing that could help solve customer needs. In doing this, we began talking to AutoGravity about its online car loan tool, and we thought, "Wouldn't it be great to offer our customers this seamless, easy solution on our website?" We worked closely with AutoGravity to develop it specifically for the U.S. Bank website, and are excited to be the first national lender to launch a program like this with them.
Gareth: We are absolutely obsessed with what our customers are looking for. We specialize in providing an integrated, one-stop banking shop for our customers. We see tremendous value in partnering with tech companies to combine the best of what we have to offer with their technology, to bring great products to customers faster. We have had great success in launching products like Zelle, Alexa, Face ID® on our mobile app and our mortgage loan portal, and we have been faster to market than some of our competitors because of these partnerships.
Heather Draper works in public affairs and communications for U.S. Bank.