AutoFi announced on Wednesday that it has extended its partnership with Santander Consumer USA, bringing to market digital products that are geared to “meaningfully improve” the ability for consumers and dealers to interact with the finance company and simplify the vehicle buying experience. 

The Emerging 8 honoree and SCUSA first formed their partnership last year. Within six months of the collaboration, the company said a digital dealer experience was developed featuring tools that enable dealers to interact with Santander in real time and identify vehicles on the lot that fit the consumer’s budget as well as the specifications to complete the deal.

AutoFi explained this ability to self-service the contract decisioning process makes it easier and faster for dealers to solution for their customers and best meet their needs.

Over the course of the past year, AutoFi scaled the solution across more than 13,000 dealers, providing the technology, operational, and inventory management support of the product for the finance company. 

Then late last year, AutoFi worked with Santander to pilot a direct-to-consumer marketplace in the Southwest region. This marketplace can allow consumers to shop for a vehicle however, wherever, and whenever they want, and streamlines the financing process.

Based on a soft credit pull, consumers can shop by payment with no impact to their credit score. The technology can enable “penny-perfect” pricing instantly across thousands of vehicles and can remove the “guess work in being approved by pairing consumers with cars they can afford.”

AutoFi said the marketplace will bring new “transaction-ready” vehicle shoppers to Santander dealers and is scheduled to roll out nationally in spring.

“The digital innovation created by partnering with AutoFi has not only enhanced business but allowed Santander Consumer to provide better service to our dealer customers and consumers,” said Bruce Jackson, president of Chrysler Capital and auto relationships for Santander.

“We are excited about future endeavors with AutoFi and being able to offer better, more efficient user experiences,” Jackson continued in a news release.

Kevin Singerman is CEO and co-founder of AutoFi.

“We are very proud of the retail innovation we have brought to market with Santander Consumer over the past year,” Singerman said. “From build to launch, the timeframe is unprecedented for this level of digital transformation for automotive lenders. The market dynamics of the past 12 months, including rising interest rates, further underscore the importance of these solutions in ensuring consumers are matched with cars and financing they can afford.”

Beyond the ambitious plans with Santander, the company highlighted 2023 is shaping up to be a “transformational” year for AutoFi, as other industry partners, including dealers, manufacturers, finance companies and marketplaces, lean in to AutoFi's digital capabilities.

The company explained AutoFi is in a unique position to build impactful solutions faster and more cost-effectively than companies can on their own. The company also pointed out enterprise customers value AutoFi’s understanding of how to drive product adoption at the retail level, while adhering to “Big Bank” standards, like SOC2 Type II compliance and robust operations and infrastructure.

Furthermore, the company noted AutoFi’s in-store dealer platform, Deal Center, can address one of the biggest challenges of the online customer journey, a disconnected in-store experience.

“Deal Center connects the dots between the online and offline experiences and enables Enterprise customers to offer AutoFi’s digital capabilities to their dealer network in the showroom, streamlining the sales process and consumer experience,” the company said.