Throughout 2020 Quotevine – a provider of software and services for the UK asset finance sector – unveiled a series of launches and collaborations to help SMEs manage their affairs during the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, CBILS and BBLS loans were announced in an attempt to save SMEs, and banks were understandably hit with an avalanche of applications that quickly overwhelmed their legacy systems. Because of this, alternative lenders were quick to react, distributing the funds to the struggling businesses.
Recognising that asset finance brokers were in a prime position to provide this financing, Quotevine introduced its Quickstart package – a suite of tools to allow brokers to manage large volumes of financial applications while managing risk and provide the support SMEs needed.
Since then, the financial services industry has witnessed a year of both tremendous growth and uncertainty. Many businesses have been forced to navigate the impact of Covid-19 by adapting to digital processes to stay competitive, and the automotive financing sector is no different.
With automotive ecommerce revenue increasing by 61% this year, Quotevine responded to this need for digitisation and helped brokers adapt to new working, lending and leasing conditions. Their latest launch, Broker Go, was designed specifically to help brokers future-proof their business and allow them to have a completely digital end-to-end process. The package includes a tailored website and new vehicle procurement module, allowing brokers to move away from traditional, manual practices and to capture, process and close deals online.
As well as helping strengthen their respective sectors, Quotevine also developed and grew internally, appointing Tom Jones as COO. Quotevine has also launched a series of new partnerships whilst strengthening existing ones, to work with industry-leading providers like AccountScore to provide a fully future-proofed offering.
Quotevine has also signed a number of new customers, including a new 4-year renewal with Time Finance (formally 1pm plc). Similarly, new customer relationships were formed with businesses like IN-SYNC and Zenith, as well as several new broker customers, as Quotevine seeks to provide the financing industries with more automated and seamless futures.
“It’s certainly been a rollercoaster year across the automotive, asset and consumer finance industries,” said Daniel Layne, Quotevine chief executive and founder.
“We’ve seen businesses realising the need for digital-first solutions, within the broker and funder verticals. Brokers have seen the benefits of moving away from generic CRM systems and spreadsheets, and as a result, we’ve seen high demand for digital end-to-end platforms.
“Evidently, this requirement will build into brokers’ goals for 2021, as they seek to use data intelligently and offer a quick, frictionless experience for consumers, all while maintaining strong human interactions in their operations.
“With this in mind, Quotevine is going to continue building on an already successful year, providing more innovative future-proofed solutions for brokers.”
“Over the next year we’re also expecting to see continued growth in digital for the wider automotive market” Layne continues. “The digitisation of the car-buying experience has been accelerated by Covid-19. This will play to brokers as a website is much cheaper and more flexible than a physical showroom. This, combined with the increased emphasis on a fast, seamless, digital transaction, will, we predict, move more customers away from dealership retail and into online.”
In considering changes forthcoming in 2021 Layne said: “With the discretionary commission regulations coming into force in January I’d expect the FCA to monitor the effects closely over the year, in order to evaluate the success or otherwise. We also think that making lending decisions based on Open Banking data will become more prevalent in 2021.
“Funders will soon push it, as it’s more accurate than simply asking people what they earn and spend, and consumers will be split into two camps: those for whom sharing data is second nature (the younger and/or more technologically active) and those who view such a request as rude and invasive. Having the flexibility to adopt new technologies such as Open Banking, while also supporting staff to work remotely long term, will force firms to update their systems to stay competitive.”