April 2021

How I didn’t lease a bike

Written by Andrzej Grzechociński, Business and Product Development Director at LeaseTech.
I am not some kind of bike maniac, but you could definitely consider me an enthusiast. For the last 20 years, I have been riding a decent MTB hard-trail. During that time, I didn’t really follow the trends, even though in that period many new concepts have appeared: full, twenty-niner, or tubeless. Finally, I have decided it was a good moment for a change and I began to look for the best bike for me for the years to come. As I run my own business, at my first thought was to finance the purchase with leasing.

Underdeveloped side of leasing 

I found THE optimal bike – but it was outside Poland. The solution to this problem seemed obvious – I should simply go to find the right financing. However, it turned out that while the two-wheeler sales are in their all-time high, the same products on the leasing market are not equally popular. I managed to found just a few companies that could offer me to lease a bike. I had received the offers via e-mail, so the time has come for me to choose the right one and sign the contract to finance the purchase.  

However, during the next phone calls with leasing advisors, it turned out that I could only lease a bike that was bought in Poland, from a Polish dealerThe only option that was left for me was the sale and lease back, for which I have to buy the bike first and then resell it to the leasing company – hoping for the positive risk assessment.  

At this stage, from the already limited number of leasing companies, they were only two left standingTheir applications consisted of 6 pages each, together with numerous consents: for marketing, for insurance, for contact, GDPR, etc. All in PDF files ready to be printed out and filled in on paper. What is more, I was required to give the information on my real estates, loans and other commitments, acquired shares, etc. All of this was needed to lease a bike, not an expensive machine.  

How to improve leasing not only for bikers? 

The leasing process for financing items such as bikes was not what I would like to encounter as a customer. At the very beginning, before I reached the person that was able to tell me something more about the leasing process, so I had to have multiple conversations with the company’s representatives in order to get an offer. The application I have received in return was difficult to comprehend, too long and they contained too much sensitive data about me compared to the commitment I wanted to make.  

My impatience was fueled by other problems, too, such as: long waiting time for contact with an advisor, the need for his constant support, unclear criteria for the back-lease (two companies specified that this offer is valid for e-bikes only), or burdensome application procedures.  

Automation of those processes would allow to relieve both sales departments and the customer himself, as he had to face an enormous amount of paperwork in this scenario. What is more, digital products allowing for achieving these goals are already available on the Polish market and they may be of help in such situations.  

In the described case technologies could play a key part. Firstly, they could help me as the customer to compare the offers in a quick and seamless manner. Secondly, at the point of choice and filling the forms I would not be trapped in the vicious circle made of printing, signing and scanning page after page. Last, but not least, the entire decision would not take me up to a few days – and that is a crucial factor for purchases like this.  

What stopped me was, in fact:  

  • Insufficient security levels 
  • The length of the process combined with uncertainty related to the result of my case – my application could be rejected, while my bike has already been bought.  

Leasing journey starts now  

Despite the fact that digitization has gained some speed both globally and in the leasing industry, it still offers an unlimited amount of unused potential – what was proven with my very own example.  

While preparing all of those documents with my personal information to send it with an ordinary mail, I was stunned by the fact that contact with leasing company was neither comfortable nor entirely safe for a customer. What is more, the sudden customers’ migration towards online channels became a fact. Whoever takes care of their comfort and safety will definitely benefit from the revolution.  

P.S. In the end I did not send my documents. I made my dream come true in another way. Still, I hope that the situation that occurred in 2020 will be helpful in further optimization of leasing processes, as the potential – as you can see in my example – is still there.   

Andrzej Grzechociński
Business and Product Development Director at LeaseTech
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