Digital Lending Platform Blend Successfully Completes Auto Loan Pilot Project

Tracey E. Schelmetic

Earlier this year, digital lending platform company Blend announced new forays into deposit account opening, home equity, and homeowner’s insurance while simultaneously raising $130 million in Series E funding. Now, it seems, the company is still in rapid growth mode, and recently completed a pilot program that marks its venture into auto lending. Going forward, the company will partner with banks to brings its trademark “one tap” process into vehicle loans.

In a recent blog post, Blend product manager Evan Akbari noted that vehicle purchasing is highly linked to the ease of the paperwork process.

“Shoppers make car financing decisions based on speed, transparency, service, and intuitiveness,” he wrote.

Earlier this year, Blend completed a pilot program for auto loans with a $38 billion bank located in the midwestern U.S. The results showed a three-fold increase in completed applications and a 10 percent increase in approval rates using Blend’s technology.

“We’re excited to roll out our auto financing product to help lenders enhance the level of service and experience they provide to customers,” Olivia Teich, head of product at Blend, said in a statement. “Blend’s technology uses verified data to eliminate steps and the passing around of documents, streamlining the application process for consumers and reducing origination costs.”

According to Blend, this ease is based on three things: the speed of the process, particularly if lenders can certify loan-worthiness in an instant; omnichannel options, so buyers can secure their car loans in a multitude of ways, including on a desktop, via mobile device, or in a branch supported by trusted bankers; and efficiency, if vehicle buyers can trust in an automated and streamlined vehicle loan process.

“Customer expectations have clearly shifted,” wrote Akbari in the blog post. “Across the board, people want an easy, fast, and frictionless digital experience when applying for a loan. Blend partners with you to exceed your customer’s expectations while growing your auto loans business significantly. For lenders that get it right, the benefits are substantial,” he said.