Global changes caused by coronavirus pandemic have an impact both on our everyday lives and the condition of different industries. The sudden need for change did not spare the leasing sector that was forced to move its services to the digital dimension. This caused a number of significant phenomena, both beneficial and harmful.
More than just sudden drops
Leasing industry did not withstand the test of pandemic. According to the Polish Leasing Association, a dynamic of financing that was granted by the industry in the first six months of 2020 dropped by 24% compared with the previous year. Both March and April had the key influence on such a sudden decline. During those two months leasing market lost respectively 32% and 50% of its value. There are no doubts that lockdown was crucial for that results. However, the value of active leasing portfolio was not affected by the crisis and it has increased by 0,6%. This unexpected rise can be caused by the fact that annexes were introduced for approximately 50% of all leasing contracts in order to lower or suspend current installments. The aim of such an operation was to support the entrepreneurs during lockdown, especially in the most affected industries.
– In the last six months we have noticed that many representatives from leasing industry decided to choose support apps for both new and regular customers instead of investment and sales tools. The automation of thousands of requests for grace periods was a critical test for service management and it was essential for further fluent operation of backoffice departments. – says Andrzej Grzechociński, Business and Product Development Director in Ailleron
Future shaped by technology
The development of existing tools or investing in new solutions supporting self-service is crucial for many companies on both Polish and international leasing market. Pandemic has become a threat, but also a challenge for the entire world. It forced many corporations from all around the globe to look for new tools helping them to control the damage through providing customers with high-quality services outside companies’ branches.
The pandemic has accelerated many investments concerning the development of remote communication channels (including chat, audio and video). Such tools (including Ailleron LeaseTech) have helped the agents stay in touch with their customers. Remote authentication and identification, as well as integration of sales processes and digital signature systems also had a huge impact on industry’s condition. In other words, when leasing marked was to face the pandemic, it has decided switch to virtual customer service, including key processes such as sales or onboarding.
– The industry will have to face many other challenges in this area. Leasing companies were used to favorable market conditions and they were not interested in investing in those support processes. For the record, according to the Polish Leasing Association in the last 25 years the average associated company grew by 19%! Not many industries can share the same result. Still, if we want to improve those statistics, we need technological investments that can help leasing companies survive the crisis. – says Andrzej Grzechociński.
Revolution or evolution?
The revolution caused by the pandemic was undoubtedly enormous. Its consequences will surely be seen in the years to come – and they will be dominated by acceleration and digitization of numerous processes that, until now, were tied to the branches. Those times will be especially interesting for providers of support tools. Looking at the outcomes of recent changes, both creators of leasing platforms and their customers have succeeded in using their new digital potential for their advantage.