Switch to Paperless Processes to Make Compliance a Cinch

Save time, meet compliance obligations, and protect customers by automating your workflow

Compliance. It’s a word that can make us all cringe. It also carries the stigma of requiring your dealership to add additional steps to its already-hectic daily workflow.

Reluctance to change is understandable because the fear of an unknown result—as well as your comfort level with existing procedures—could hinder your overall performance.

We all know time is money, especially in a dealer’s world. Here are a few automation and implementation tactics for managing compliance that can benefit your workflow.

Start out right

From the very first touch point with your customer, make sure you automatically meet compliance obligations so you don’t have to think about them further down the line.

When consumers fill out a credit application on your website or from a tablet within your showroom, be sure your privacy policy is embedded in that application, along with a credit score disclosure notice. You can also auto-run identity verification at this step to help manage compliance with the Red Flags Rule.

Keep up the digital momentum

The data from your digital credit application can automatically populate your e-contract, reducing duplicate data entry and potential errors. It also eliminates paper that could potentially end up in the wrong hands, revealing sensitive data that you are required to protect.

With e-contracting, you can also utilize remote document delivery to ensure your customers digitally receive a review copy of the contract, reducing their time spent in the F&I office and providing the opportunity to review it in the comfort of their own home.

Adding aftermarket

You can also connect to your aftermarket providers with e-contracting. This will help ensure that you have accurate forms and pricing, and meet eligibility requirements.

Further, because aftermarket forms are digitally submitted to providers, your dealership has not only eliminated the time and money associated with mailing, but again, is better protected from the risk associated with paper.

Finally, implementing a menu to present aftermarket products takes the process a step further by continuing the digital workflow. It also creates an audit trail to help ensure that your staff is presenting products in a more consistent and compliant manner.

Sign on the electronic line

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act and state laws provide that auto finance documents executed with electronic signatures may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because they are in electronic form.

Dealers have the ability to allow their customers to electronically sign credit applications, e-contracts, and aftermarket forms, to name a few.

Digital document storage

After the deal is complete, store your “digital deal jacket” for easy access at any time. This will include credit reports, disclosures, contracts, etc.—keep all data associated to a deal in one location.

Although it is likely that your process is not 100% digital at the moment, the documentation associated with every deal is extensive, and you can still store it electronically in one location. In the event that you have paperwork associated with a deal, you can scan and upload it as PDF files into your electronic document retention tool to keep all associated deal data together.

Finally, user permissions can be set to ensure the appropriate level of access is granted to each user to add another layer of security.

All of these steps reduce or eliminate paper in your process, which helps with your legal obligations to ensure that your customers’ data is secure and protected from unauthorized access. This is one of the many benefits a digital workflow can bring to your dealership and its overall compliance strategy.

Although change is not always welcomed with open arms, implementing these few processes can reduce manual efforts that are costing your dealership time and money—and ensure its compliance at the same time.

Dan Doman is the chief legal and privacy officer (CLPO) of RouteOne LLC, a joint venture created by Ally Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, TD Auto Finance, and Toyota Financial Services. Dan is responsible for managing the legal, governmental, privacy, and security affairs of RouteOne LLC.

Dan Doman


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