Nick Horton, client services director and Chris Jenkins, client services and technology manager, reveal how Wrights Recoveries broke the mould when it created VT Validate
TECHNOLOGY HAS played a huge role in the growth of the alternative lending sector, and now Wrights Recoveries is bringing tech innovation to the admin-heavy world of car finance.
In 2017, the recoveries specialists created a brand new voluntary termination (VT) tool which has been praised by both lenders and their clients for transforming the way vehicle loans are managed and understood.
“VT Validate is a customer engagement tool that flips the current VT method on its head by placing the ownership of a VT onto a customer,” explains Chris Jenkins, client services and technology manager at Wrights Recoveries.
“The current system involves sending out a written VT letter for the customer to sign and return. That is then processed and the account manager is sent out to recover the vehicle, conduct a cursory inspection and deliver it to a remarketing centre. Then the vehicle will be assessed for damages and often the finance provider will chase the customers for what we call ‘de-hire’ charges. This whole process can take anywhere between 30 to 45 days.
“But with VT Validate, this whole process takes just seven days, from the moment the customer processes a VT to the crystallisation of damages and excess mileage.”
Unsurprisingly, the client feedback has been excellent. Previously, the long administrative burden of the standard VT process was laborious and time-consuming for employees, and many companies have told Wrights Recoveries that by using VT Validate they have been able to save time and money, and to reassign staff to do more collections work. It has also removed an emotive element from the whole process.
“Some lenders don’t collect damage and if they try to, there is the potential for a customer to say, ‘well that damage wasn’t on the vehicle when it left my house,’ or wherever they took it from to the point of delivery,” says Nick Horton, client services director at Wrights Recoveries. “Whereas with VT Validate it is valued and checked at the point of collection. Any potential disputes are then taken away because the terms are right there in black and white, so it actually protects both parties – the lender and the customer as well.”
Since VT Validate went live in 2018, 77 per cent of Wrights’ customers have said that the appraisal application is easy to use, and 100 per cent of those customers said that they were able to accurately record the condition of the vehicle using the application. Another 88 per cent confirmed that VT Validate helped them to understand their rights and applications, and 78 per cent of customers said that that more asset finance lenders should invest in technologies like VT Validate to engage with their customers throughout the life of their finance agreement.
At present, VT Validate is used only for any lease/hire and end of lease agreements, but there is scope to expand it across the lending space.
“We’re looking at the possibility of creating a commercial version,” says Jenkins. “But at the moment it is just private hire goods, and mainly passenger vehicles. The product’s value is evolving and developing all the time so the more feedback we get from the client base, then the more changes we’ll make moving forward.”