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Paperless Contracts, Almost

September 30, 2011

At the conference this week, there was dinner conversation about the value of paper contracts for F&I products.   Provider Exchange Network will host forms for providers that do not have their own forms service.  We can also return images of the completed contracts – with signatures, where available.  I was encouraged to hear one of our larger customers declare that they don’t need paper.

As long as we receive the data and payment, that’s all we need.

This succinct formulation reminded me of Dr. Hammer’s pronouncement on accounts-payable matching – if supplies come in, and you need them, then pay the invoice.

Closer to home, it reminded me of my own experience with online credit.  When we rolled out the BMW InfoBahn, we wanted to receive credit application data – but not the faxed copies.  So, we arranged for the dealers to retain signed originals, subject to audit, for every application submitted online.

The car buyer will probably want a paper contract – to sign, for instance, where electronic signature is unavailable – but at least we can avoid mailing a copy to the provider.  Saving the rainforest, one ply at a time …

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