As the African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. In terms of asset lending, one of the best ways to achieve that is “platformification”: making systems as open as possible and working with trusted third parties, while maintaining a high level of security. Through that, industry leaders are adapting in a sustainable way to market changes and evolving customer expectations.

By using a platformification approach, asset lending businesses reduce costs, speed up processes, improve the customer experience (CX) and remain competitive. Below, we dive into platformification of the asset lending ecosystem, and how Sopra Banking Software supports lenders throughout each stage of the lifecycle.

Picture: By using a platformification approach, asset lending businesses reduce costs, speed up processes, improve the customer experience (CX) and remain competitive

What is platformification?

According to Ron Shevlin, Chief Research Officer at Cornerstone Advisors, platformification is a “plug-and-play business model that allows multiple participants to connect to it, interact with each other, and exchange value”.

Through platformification, asset lenders leverage an ecosystem of microservices, allowing them to quickly integrate new capabilities as and when required, be it open banking connections, know-your-customer solutions or credit checks.

Platformification incorporates modern technologies like the cloud, mobile-first, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things. It helps auto and equipment finance companies accelerate digital transformation and revolutionize their operations.

Picture: Platformification incorporates modern technologies like the cloud, mobile-first, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things.

Industry challenges

Covid-19 massively accelerated digitalization, forcing businesses to adapt and evolve. As automotive and equipment finance firms continue to do that, they face additional challenges, including:

  • Global economic and geopolitical uncertainty.
  • Supply chain issues, impacting prices and values.
  • Pressures around the electrification of vehicles.
  • Cybersecurity and privacy concerns.
  • Rules and regulations, such as the Euro 7 Standards.
  • Changing consumer expectations and buying habits.

The winners are agile lenders that move with the times. That’s where platformification comes into play, helping streamline transactions and optimize the customer journey.

Sopra Banking Software and platformification

Our API-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution helps customers seamlessly connect to a market-leading ecosystem of verified trusted partners. As a result, they can create a bespoke product portfolio within a single platform.

In turn, they deliver services quicker and more efficiently, whether it’s speeding up a loan application process, conducting data analysis, or automating anti-money laundering checks.

Lender Q&A

We invited some of Sopra Banking Software’s customers from the world of finance to challenge our platformification vision. Below, we outline highlights of the discussion.

John Mizzi, Founder & CEO of Vero Technologies

Q: How is Sopra Banking Software positioning itself as the primary cloud-based platform for the auto and asset lending ecosystem?

A:  A cloud-native approach has been in our DNA for the better part of 30 years. We actively support our customers in their respective cloud journeys by providing thought leadership and expertise.

Q: What’s the motivating factor behind the push to the cloud and an API-driven ecosystem?

A: We increasingly see time to market, total cost of ownership and agility driving the need for SaaS-type products. At Sopra Banking Software, our strategy focuses on deconstructing the proverbial monolith into smaller, more consumable pieces. Our platform quickly delivers value in a standard form, while allowing scope for individualization, making it easy for customers to scale.

Q: What core components of Sopra Banking Software’s platform help support the end-to-end customer journey and lending lifecycle?

A: We deeply understand our customers, from onboarding to credit, contract and risk management. Our platform offers digitalized solutions that work end-to-end, and we seamlessly connect to an ecosystem of trusted third parties, including credit scoring and review capabilities.

Liam Quegan, MD at NextGear Capital & Manheim

Q: How does Sopra Banking Software reduce friction for customers, ensuring they succeed, whichever channel they use?

A: We’re adding a number of key partners to our platform to deal with different use cases, particularly regarding customers’ credit and risk journeys, be it e-sign, audit or asset valuation solutions. It’s about giving the lender choices to speed up and digitalize their processes, eliminate waste, reduce cost to serve, and enhance the CX.

Anne Corrao, Director of Deal Credit Services at Nissan Motor Acceptance Company

Q: As the climate rapidly changes, how do you see Sopra Banking Software’s platform meeting current and future needs?

A: The pandemic and global economic instability combined with rapid innovation in asset technology require a shift to more consumer-centric models. Organizations need to rethink their technology strategies and become more agile. The evergreen solutions we offer continue to evolve as the market does, allowing lenders to adapt organically.

Nick Hatton, Senior Stocking Manager at Novuna Business Finance

Q: What is Sopra Banking Software doing to enhance and elevate its reporting functionality?

A: We bring value to our customers through tactical API connections that gather data from different touchpoints into a single view. That information can then be manipulated and analyzed.

Grené Baranco, Owner of G Lux Automotive

Q: How does Sopra Banking Software make processes more streamlined and less time-consuming and disruptive?

A: We understand that opening an account with a lender can be slow and difficult. With that in mind, we collaborate with key industry partners to assemble the optimal components in our platform, making processes less painful and faster for dealers and customers. For example, we work with businesses that offer video identity calls to speed up background checks. 

Shaun Seecharan, Head of Stocking at Société Générale Equipment Finance 

Q: How does Sopra Banking Software’s financing platform enhance supply chain decarbonization?

A: Our cloud-first strategy reduces the carbon footprint of maintaining a physical data center. Additionally, our core capabilities are SaaS-designed. For example, our digital auditing solution eliminates physical visits and the associated emissions from traveling between sites. 

Chris Powell, Sales Manager at Novuna Business Finance

Q: How do you see the future in terms of green assets?

A: Our software enables lenders to provide wholesale funding for the green asset sector via bespoke APIs, open banking solutions, and changes to their funding rules and policies.

Platformification: a new approach to asset lending

The future of asset lending involves a connected marketplace of lenders, borrowers, asset providers, and data service vendors, accessible from a single platform. Thanks to that, automotive and equipment finance firms can choose who to partner with according to their needs, helping them offer a unique and best-in-class service to their customers. They reap the benefits too, from lower costs, faster implementation, and greater efficiency to environmental gains. 

To find out more about Sopra Banking Software’s solution, check out our end-to-end financing platform. For more expert content on industry outlooks and innovation, subscribe to our newsletter or visit our Insights page.

Bettina Vaccaro Carbone

Head of Research for SFP

Sopra Banking Software