Considering a pay platform? Take a test drive

A handful of large dealership groups have taken stock of how customers are increasingly mobile-minded. I interviewed dealership group executives and wrote about how their groups are now offering to pay customers for their used vehicles via Zelle.

A large part of the appeal, the executives told me, is how instant an app-based transaction can be — within hours is the goal.

However, I can’t help but think of limitations that might hinder an app-based transaction. Executives are thinking about that, too.

It seems like dealerships interested in using digital payment platforms to buy vehicles or reimburse customers will need to first fine-tune their own processes to adhere to that promise of “instant” payment.

There are crucial questions to consider: Do customers’ banks allow large transactions to be made through such apps? What happens if a customer agrees to be paid through Zelle or Venmo but then decides such platforms are too complicated and wants a paper check? How often will limitations such as missing titles or existing liens slow the process?

Take it from dealers who have adopted or are in the process of adopting the platforms: Test runs are helpful.

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