The final stage of car-buying (a.k.a. the financing and insurance process) can get complicated with different systems handling different parts of the process, such as credit checks, loan applications, taxes, titling and trade-in values.
Dealership staff navigate on average more than six different systems to finalize a sale, according to a Cox Automotive poll.
Aiming to streamline and speed up the process, Dealertrack, a Cox brand, introduces uniFI, a new platform that’s touted as auto retailing’s first integrated solution for closing car deals.
“The industry is asking for new ways to make the car-buying process different and quicker,” Cheryl Miller, vice president and general manager of Dealertrack F&I Solutions, tells Wards.
The new platform brings together different systems to create a seamless F&I solution and seeks to relieve major pain points for consumers, dealers and lenders, she says.
Instead of switching between multiple systems and re-entering data each time, dealership staff can use uniFI to run credit checks, submit credit applications, structure deals, calculate accurate payments, add aftermarket products, speed up trade-in payoffs and expedite title releases.
The single platform also generates compliance-specific documents that meet federal laws and regulations and creates a check-list to track actions, all in one deal jacket, Miller says. (Cheryl Miller, left)
The new platform replaces one that had upgrades along the way but was not built with deal jackets in mind. Cox acquired Dealertrack in 2015, and system integration became a challenge. Dealertrack started as a loan aggregator electronically connecting dealers with lenders. It has since expanded into other areas of auto retailing.
Dealertrack uniFI connects online and in-store interactions, making it easier to track the entire car-buying experience, Miller says. “The car-buying experience should be an exciting time for consumers, but it’s often lengthened by a set of disjointed technologies required to finalize the sale.”
Dealertrack uniFI is built as an open platform to make it easier to connect various systems needed to handle different parts of a car deal, Miller says.
The open platform works with software from other Cox Automotive brands such as Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, non-Cox providers and Dealertrack’s network of more than 1,600 lenders.
Dealerships who participated in a uniFI pilot program include Richard Cirami, finance director of North Shore Honda in Glen Head, NY. The system “allows me to work more deals for more customers in a shorter period of time,” he says.
Miller adds, “In today’s fast-paced world, we could all use some extra time.”