AFS Recap

AFS Recap Informed

AFS was a fantastic experience for the Informed team and from the general buzz it seemed that was the general consensus. It was well attended by many key auto finance executives. I have been to many AFS summits before, but this was my first time with Informed. I am excited and energized from the conversations we had with clients and prospects at the booth and various meetings. Informed plays a critical role in automating funding and stip clearance, among other things, for auto lenders. Things that directly improve the bottom line for our clients and given the current market conditions, improving the bottom line has been one of the key themes at the 2 day event. Here are other key themes and headlines we heard.

Focus on the bottom line

There was a lot of focus on the importance of assessing credit quality, particularly in an uncertain economy, building great dealer relationships, and managing capital tech expenditures to focus on driving tangible cost savings. In the executive dialogue session, leaders like Chris Mitcham from SCUSA and Jayson Amandus from BECU talked about how good underwriting discipline in tandem with efficiencies in funding and servicing operations can significantly help you amid elevated interest rates. Tom Shortt from Vroom talked about an interesting analysis from his recent read “The Price of Time” – the average interest rate over the last 5000 years is about 5%. So even though current times seem extreme compared to the last 10 years, it definitely doesn’t seem so in the scheme of things. And, good lending discipline can help you win business from players leaving the space.

Using AI to your advantage

Many auto lenders are experimenting with artificial intelligence, notably in underwriting, but increasingly across other areas of the business like funding and collections. Anne Alburo from Chase Auto mentioned that they are constantly identifying and evaluating use cases within its operations for coding, documentation and underwriting. However, she did clarify that they see AI helping speed things up and increase efficiency, but they’re not replacing humans completely by AI. Brian Hamilton from Origence Lending Services talked about how they are constantly enhancing their AI capabilities to improve automation and efficiencies through the originations, albeit in a limited fashion, for now. Overall, there was buzz around AI and in how it can automate stip clearance via document reviews in funding.

Fraud – nip it in the bud

With recent inflation and rising costs in consumer needs, some lenders discussed shoring up their efforts in catching fraud during originations. Because of high interest rates and increased vehicle prices, monthly payments are at an all time high. On top of that, insurance premiums have increased, forcing some consumers to drop their insurance later on causing lenders to have them “repurchase” insurance. Our friends from GoFi told us how they are improving their fraud detection abilities to capture synthetic fraud, which has also been on the rise. There was a lot of interest in our income fraud detection capabilities that help lenders identify income and bank statement fraud during originations, so that they don’t have to deal with unwinding loans later.

We did not miss out on the fun

We hosted our friends from SAFCO, GoFi, Westlake, FIS, Origence, FICO and others for a fantastic dinner, sharing stories, jokes and life outside work. We also attended the F&I Sentinel/ Transunion co-hosted event on Sunday night, bringing together C-level executives from many of the nation’s top auto lenders and leading to many fruitful conversations. Oh and we can’t forget the awesome hockey game we attended thanks to our friends at CPS. It was a riveting game between Las Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens with a sweet victory by the Golden Knights in the shootout. 

Informed successfully launched our partnership with Lender Compliances Technologies (LCT) at the conference to help streamline ancillary product refunds and cancellations. And we announced a new product, Dealer Verify, a new AI-powered tool that enables auto dealers to clear stipulations in real time via digital document collection and instant, automated verifications. Clients were so excited that several asked for demos while we were still at the conference!

Women in Auto Finance Luncheon

The Women in Auto Finance Lunch highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry. The keynote speaker was  Betty Jotanovic of Santander, who shared her poignant journey through the industry and advice for the future. With a focus on empowerment and collaboration, the lunch emphasized the need for a more inclusive and equitable landscape for women in the automotive sector. The event was a significant step forward in recognizing and celebrating the pivotal role of women driving change in the industry for all the women and men who attended.

Finally, we were gratified to receive several “shout outs” from the stage which is always a highlight and were pleased to have so many visitors to our booth. For anyone who didn’t get all of their questions answered or would like to learn more about our new products,  feel free to reach out to us

Contributors: Jalyn Wilson, Ryan Prince, Mac Rechan

author avatar
Kartheek Veeravalli Head of Product
Kartheek Veeravalli is the Head of Product, Auto. He has more than 15 years experience in building successful fintech products in auto and consumer lending at defi SOLUTIONS, Cox Automotive and FICO.

New: American Banker - Sharing information = best defense against AI fraud