In case you missed it, there has been some pretty exciting technology news lately. Here is a wrap-up.
News item #1 Home delivery of your next car!
Carmax, one of the largest retailers of used cars, has introduced its new digital platform that allows the customer to buy a car online and receive it via either curbside pickup or home delivery. In this entirely closed-loop auto buying process, the customer can shop, finance, and take delivery of the car from the comfort of their home.
While this is a genius move for Carmax, it may install fear in the hearts of some credit unions. Of course, credit unions can combat this with a re-acquisition strategy, but why not join Carmax and build their own digital platform?
Seriously, they could.
Here is are a few ways credit unions could accomplish this.
1. Start small
Identify auto dealerships/ auto locators that a credit union already has a good relationship with.
Identify popular makes and models purchased most by your members. (hint: you have the data in the loan record). Leveraging the auto dealership/locator relationship, a credit union can secure a selection of the pre-identified popular vehicles and advertise them on the credit union's website.
Members who have the highest demand for these vehicles are pre-approved and sent to the virtual inventory webpage. The credit union manages the member's purchase behavior via the pre-approval and works with the auto dealership to ensure the closed-loop purchase relationship.
Identify a few potential members who would be interested in purchasing an auto online.
While that is a grand oversimplification of a process, it is worthy of exploring.
News item #2. Pay using the palm of your hand.
Amazon will allow shoppers to pay at some Amazon Go stores by simply waving their hand's palm over the reader. Of course, the palm has been previously established as the biometric identification and payment verification. This technology is called Amazon One and will be tested in Seattle first and then rolling out into Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. While this fabulous, the part that credit unions need to know is that Amazon intends to license the technology to other merchants.
So perhaps in a not so distant feature, a member can genuinely buy their car online, have it delivered to their home, and pay for it with the wave of the palm of their hand.
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