The country largest carmaker and passenger vehicle market leader Maruti Suzuki India has enhanced its digital retail offering by introducing a one-stop online loan facility platform for its Arena customers.
The company has introduced its online loan platform – Smart Finance – for customers of its mainstream cars being retailed through the Maruti Suzuki Arena channel, in over 30 Indian cities. With this online finance platform, company says that 24 out of 26 steps in a customer’s vehicle purchase journey have now been digitized.
Smart Finance will allow customers to choose from a wide range of financing products based on their respective needs. Customers will be able to select the best-suited product, as well as complete all finance-related formalities online to be eligible for loan disbursal.
Maruti Suzuki has partnered with 12 financiers including nationalised banks such as the State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and Bank of Baroda. It has also tied-up with NBFCs such as Mahindra Finance, Cholamandalam Finance, Kotak Mahindra Prime, HDB Financial Services and AU Small Bank. It says it will take on more financiers on its platform.
The new finance platform is being claimed to offer transparency in loan tracking, wherein customers will be able to check the loan status in real-time at each step of the process. While the Maruti Suzuki website will act as the facilitator between the customer and financier, the company is also working to allow customers review schemes such as balloon and EMI step-up programmes going forward.
According to Shashank Srivastava, executive director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India, “Maruti Suzuki is India’s first OEM to offer an online end-to-end real time car finance service facility. We are overwhelmed with the response to our Smart Finance platform from our Nexa customers. Now, we want to extend the ease of a car buying journey for our Arena customers as well.”
“The pandemic situation in the country has further increased the usage of digital platforms. With Smart Finance, we aim to reach out to a larger audience, assist them and make every stage of the loan process transparent,” he added.
Carmakers in digital drive mode
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the automobile industry, especially carmakers were seen resorting to the online platform to increasingly engage with customers as well as drive new car sales by introducing various contactless buying services. Like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai too came up with its online finance service integrated into its Click to Buy digital retail website. While customers are being seen making use of these services, experts believe that going forward, the industry will have to leverage the best use a ‘phygital’ approach.
The Maruti Suzuki Smart Finance will be available to customers in cities including Delhi, NCR, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow and Kanpur.
It will also be available in Jaipur, Udaipur, Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Ranchi, Raipur, Kolkata, Guwahati, Goa, Surat, Vadodara, Trivandrum, Vishakhapatnam and Vijaywada.