The newest study from J.D. Power showed how auto finance companies are struggling in the digital space compared to their contemporaries in other industries.

J.D. Power explained that auto finance companies need to do everything they can to deliver stand-out customer experiences while reducing administrative costs against a backdrop of shrinking margins and strained profitability.

While similar businesses, such as retirement plan administrators, property and casualty (P&C) insurers and wealth management firms have managed this transition by delivering digital solutions, auto financing are lagging when it comes to digital, according to the inaugural J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Finance Digital Experience Study, released on Tuesday.

The new study, which examined customer satisfaction with auto finance websites and apps used to manage installment contracts and auto leases, found that just 22% of customers are highly satisfied with the digital experience provided by their finance companies.

Overall, J.D. Power reported the average customer satisfaction score for auto finance websites is 643 (on a 1,000-point scale) and the average score for mobile apps is 659.

These compare with an average overall satisfaction score of 656 for retirement plan websites and 728 for retirement plan apps; 719 for P&C insurance websites and 716 for P&C insurance mobile apps; and 704 for wealth management websites and 738 for wealth management apps.

“Strong digital engagement sustains self-service engagement, which is exactly what auto lenders need to do to increase profitability by reducing the cost to serve and retain customers in this challenging economic environment,” said Patrick Roosenberg, senior director of automotive finance intelligence at J.D. Power.

“Among customers who give their lenders top ratings for digital enablement, 95% say they ‘definitely will’ return to the lender’s website or app to manage their account,” Roosenberg continued in a news release. “That percentage falls to just 60% when customers give their lenders low marks for digital enablement.”

The U.S. Automotive Finance Digital Experience Study evaluated customer satisfaction with auto finance websites and apps used to manage their accounts based on four criteria (in order of importance):



—Visual appeal

—Speed The study is based on responses from 3,876 automotive finance customers who used their provider’s desktop website or mobile app. It was fielded in September and October.

J.D. Power said individual scores are not provided in this inaugural study. Automotive finance companies included in the study (in alphabetical order) were:

—Ally Financial

—Bank of America

—Capital One Auto Finance

—Chase Automotive Finance

—Ford Credit

—GM Financial

—Honda Financial Services

—Hyundai Motor Finance

—Kia Finance America


—Santander Auto Finance

—Toyota Financial Services

—Wells Fargo Auto