BMW is partnering with blockchain startup Bloom to simplify the car buying experience, including streamlining the process of getting a car loan. “Bloom announces its collaboration with BMW Group Financial Services to streamline its customer journey and lending experience as part of the BMW Collaboration Lab 2018,” Bloom founder Shannon Wu wrote in a company blog last week.
The San Francisco, Calif.-based startup considers the traditional lending process as cumbersome. A few of its problems include placing consumer data at risk while struggling to accurately score borrowers. Wu said that Bloom’s blockchain-powered mobile app will help BMW’s customers secure their personal data on a local device and apply for credit. She said her firm is committed to a seamless onboarding process (for car buyers) and that blockchain technology doesn’t have to involve a steep learning curve.
The first-ever BMW Financial Services Collaboration Lab works with six startups to potentially transform the automotive industry through a 10-week ideation process with industry experts in the automaker’s Hilliard, Ohio offices.
BMW is also looking at disruptive payment solutions. The same announcement mentioned Supermoney, a blockchain venture that is developing a digital wallet that could possibly make its way to auto dealerships across the country — if the solution is adopted. “In-store and online, customers can pay with a simple QR scan,” according to a company statement. “The product runs on a system of smart contracts that effectively and efficiently manage counterparty risk, protecting both buyer and seller.”
If the Bloom and Supermoney partnerships succeed, it should be good news for car buyers. The German automaker’s blockchain initiative is a bold move to differentiate itself from other automakers. Moreover, blockchain tech lends credence to a brand that positions itself as a high-end manufacturer of the “ultimate driving machine.” The car buying experience has been known for long delays,