March 30, 2004

In an effort to bypass manual documentation and streamline the marine loan application process, KeyBank U.S.A. (Cleveland) has teamed with Integrated Dealer Systems (IDS, Raleigh, N.C.) to launch an electronic system. The new system, piloted in March, electronically links IDS' dealer-management system to the bank's loan-application process to eliminate duplicate data entry of customer and boat-unit information. Marine dealerships that previously used IDS' Astra Dealer management system will now submit applications, receive approvals and communicate with credit analysts through the electronic system.

Previously, dealers using IDS' paper-based management system had to fill out marine loan applications by hand and fax the forms to the bank, or complete an online appliction and submit additional paperwork - filled out manually and including duplicate information - that could be sent to other agencies involved in the insurance and registration of the vehicle, according to Don Tillotson, director of new business development for IDS.

KeyBank's data entry group would then read the fax and enter the information into the bank's loan-processing system for a credit analyst to review. After waiting for a credit review, the bank would finally fax a decision to the dealer. The new system eliminates these steps by automating transactions between KeyBank and the dealers, according to John Relyea, vice president and director of e-business, KeyBank.

"When customer information is with IDS it can get transmitted over to KeyBank, and it feeds right into the loan processing system, so there is no need for data entry," says Relyea. "When the credit analyst makes a decision, transactions are sent back electronically to IDS so that they don't have to data enter into their system at all."

The electronic system also will minimize errors, which occur more often than during the auto loan process because of the complexity of a marine loan, according to IDS' Tillotson. "The elimination of errors is key," he says.

KeyBank's Relyea says the new system will cut loan-application processing time dramatically. "We're getting thousands of faxes a week," he says. "While we pride ourselves in getting the data entered in as quickly as possible, during a busy time of year, sometimes a fax can sit for a couple of hours before it gets entered. Now, it's done all electronically, and we're saving significant time on it."

KeyBank, the only bank currently linked to the IDS network, decided to go with IDS' management system because of the vendor's reputation and established client base, according to Relyea. "[IDS'] client base was very consistent with the type of dealers that we do business with," he says. "As a leader in their industry, and because of the client overlap, it seems like it was the fit that made the most sense."

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