Vehicle financier WesBank has unveiled its locally developed iContract product, a “secure Web-based system for signing vehicle finance contracts online, and the first of its kind launched by any vehicle financier in South Africa”.
Wesbank says this will give customers the luxury of signing their finance contracts at home, at work or at the dealership.
According to statistics by Internet World, South Africa has more than 6.8-million Internet users. In addition, the 2011 global ecommerce market is valued at an estimated R735-billion.
“Internet usage is growing rapidly and our research has shown an increased willingness by clients to interact financially online at their leisure,” says Wesbank sales and marketing executive head Chris De Kock.
He says the iContract system has been devel- oped in keeping with the “easily accessible and user-friendly services” online consumers currently have at their disposal.
“We believe this is the next logical step in vehicle finance in South Africa, offering consumers the ability to easily finalise their vehicle finance contract 24/7, without the complicated terminology, and in less than half the time it normally takes to complete the traditional paper-based contracting process.
“iContract guides the user through each section of the terms and conditions in a step- by-step and easy-to-read format,” adds De Kock. “With the aid of ‘tooltips’, the client can hover the mouse pointer over certain legal terms, which are highlighted in a differ- ent colour, to open a text box window that explains the terminology in plain English, if required.”
De Kock says the new service has already seen significant take-up from customers in its test phase, and he attributes this success to its “paperless, uncomplicated and hassle-free” format.
“The accessibility has been received favourably and, over the past three weeks, we have already signed up nearly a thousand contracts, with most customers completing the process in less than 20 minutes. This is significant as it would have previously taken the average customer between 45 minutes and an hour to sign the finance contract at the dealership.”
Once a consumer has engaged with a finance and insurance (F&I) consultant at a dealer- ship to finalise the selection of a vehicle and approval of finance, WesBank generates a unique account number and PIN, which is emailed to the client who, in his or her own time, enters those details on the WesBank website to complete the legal process.
“The entire process is legally compliant,” assures De Kock.
“As customers are guided through the contract, they are prompted to acknowledge their agreement and understanding of each section of the terms and conditions before proceeding, which allows the system to date and time-stamp the contract accordingly.
“Additional benefits include the ability to save documents digitally for personal record keeping, so that the client has a clear understanding of what is required . . ., and easy referencing capabilities.”