What do finance and insurance technology providers advise their dealer clients about digital F&I security?

We asked several of them, and here’s what they said.

Terry O’Loughlin, compliance director, Reynolds & Reynolds’ document-services:

“The risks around digital F&I mirror risks in the F&I office – and the dealership.  The biggest risks are lack of compliance and inconsistent processes. 

“I’ve read industry articles noting that two-thirds of dealers surveyed are concerned that they are under scrutiny actively by regulators.  Only slightly more than a third of dealers provide a full-fledged compliance-training program for their employees. That mismatch points to a big risk, because compliance remains an important issue and will continue to be – in-store or online.  Technology doesn’t lessen the regulatory burden.

“While F&I online is a topic of a lot of discussion, we believe that most dealers still have a lot of runway left to improve the in-store F&I process and experience for consumers.”

Brian Reed, president & CEO, F&I Express:

“With data security today, you shouldn’t have paper deal jackets, let alone jackets sitting on a desk. In the digital world, you can lock down a device and provide better protection. The challenge is staying on top of changing employee and ex-employee passwords, but that’s a far more minimal a risk than a non-digital alternative.

“Relative to F&I products specifically, a digital F&I experience – digital content on a digital platform – allows for consistent customer messaging.

“When paper-based, data security is a risk for any entity along the sales process; from the provider with the product, to the dealership presentation and eventual sale. This is why it is crucial for F&I to make the digital transition. Once digital F&I has been embraced, data security, policies must be created, enforced and audited to ensure data protection.”

Jim Maxim, Jr., president, MaximTrak Technologies, a RouteOne company:

“Customer data and private security are always a risk for any company that operates in and around the online digital space.

“As dealers move from paper-driven to digital functions, it’s important they have partners and suppliers that can provide the proper architectures to proactively protect this information and prevent access to it through their hardware devices and virtually through cyberattack.

“Security must be part of forefront planning, not an afterthought.”

Justin Sprague, vice president-product marketing, CDK Global:

“Safeguarding confidential information is critical to a dealership’s success. There are numerous actions the F&I office can implement to minimize risks for their customers.

“You can reduce the likelihood of identity theft by leveraging digital certificates issued by third-party certificate authorities or public key infrastructure to ensure the signer’s identity is valid. Also, utilizing multi-factor authentication features, such as shared secret questions and SMS text-code will add extra assurance that the person buying the car is exactly who they claim to be.

“Ensure your dealership is in-compliance by implementing comprehensive audit trails that report on who signed, in what order, at what time and in what locations. “Those records are stored and are easily retrievable for added reassurance that your dealership is taking the appropriate and necessary steps.

“Increase document security with a signature block. The digital signature cannot be copied or pasted without detection.”