Equipment Financing Under Stay-At-Home Orders
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting so many industries worldwide, from hospitality to restaurants, to construction, banking, and yes, even the equipment finance industry.
With 22 states enacting a stay-at-home order at the time of publishing this article, telecommuting is a reality for our team, like many others. Our finance professionals are practicing social distancing for the health and safety of our employees, clients, partners, and communities. Since we’ve moved to a virtual office setting, we’ve decided to share some processes and tools our business has enacted to continue serving clients and making financing possible as we navigate these uncertain times.
Remote Online Notary
OCS has implemented a Remote Online Notary (RON) program to ensure our customers can virtually complete documents for funding. This service is available 24/7 for all states, so anyone with a smartphone can utilize it. The process is also quick, allowing customers to complete a notarization within 6 minutes, on average. RON allows OCS finance professionals to access the notarized documents immediately, without having to wait for a paper copy to arrive via mail, which speeds up the funding process. RON’s requirements, which are listed in detail below, also aim to reduce fraud in every transaction, helping customers feel confident about their notarization experience, which is important to OCS.
How does RON work?
- The customer will receive an email notifying him or her that there’s a document to be notarized.
- Then, he or she simply opens a smartphone app to confirm personal details (name, address, and date of birth).
- Next, the app will ask questions to validate one’s identity – taking extra precautions since the notarization is not performed in person.
- The app will ask the customer to input the last four numbers of his or her SSN. Then it queries third-party databases (such as credit files) to provide additional questions that only the intended person can answer.
- The app will also require the customer to take a picture of his or her driver’s license (front and back).
- Once a customer’s identity has been confirmed (which takes less than one minute), he or she can fill out any documents needed via the app and then connect with a notary.
- Customers have access to dedicated notary staff 24/7, so completing documents any time from anywhere is possible. The customer will have a live call (like a FaceTime call) with the notary to complete the process.
“We are thrilled to have implemented this process prior to the stay-at-home orders,” said Daryn Lecy, CLFP, and Vice President of Operations. “We thoroughly understand the RON process, have already completed many remote notarizations, and look forward to helping our customers obtain funding quicker and easier with this tool.”
To check out how simple, fast, and secure the RON process really is, watch this short video:
For over a year, OCS has utilized electronic documents (or E-Docs) for speedy processing. Much like RON, E-Docs speed up the funding process and eliminate the need for literal “paperwork.” Documents are sent to a customer via email, and once he or she begins the process, the online system will provide questions to verify the customer’s identity.
“The first step in the E-Doc process is the verification of our customer’s identity,” said Lecy. “Reducing fraud and protecting our customers is our number one priority when it comes to electronic documentation.”
Once a customer’s identity is confirmed, he or she needs to electronically “sign” the documents and will be prompted to complete each applicable page where required. Included in the E-Doc process is an ACH section, so any down payments or document fees can be paid electronically as well. If the customer is purchasing titled equipment, he or she will receive a second email with instructions; this is where the customer can also utilize the RON system to speed up the approval process.
After all documents are signed, both the customer and OCS will receive copies via email, and the funding process can move forward. OCS understands that in many cases, our customers need financing quickly to secure the purchase of equipment to complete jobs and get paid, and E-Docs enable us to move the funding process along faster.
“Our team migrated to E-Docs in 2019, so this process is second nature to us. Our customers like it and we’re able to provide funding faster. It’s a win-win,” said Lecy.
Remote/Virtual Working Platform
Both OCS offices in Pennsylvania and Minnesota are working virtually until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, our team was prepared to communicate and keep the financing and funding process moving with great online tools.
“With offices over 1,200 miles apart, our team is used to communicating via phone and Microsoft Teams. We always feel connected and working from home has been a smooth transition for our finance professionals,” said Jim Peach, CLFP, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Not every business was prepared to work from home; even some government and state agencies were scrambling. So, don’t feel bad if your company was, too! “This is an unprecedented time for us all, but it’s also a time to improve on the processes we have or don’t have in place,” added Lecy.
Some tools that have proven useful over the past few weeks for remote work (and e-learning) and that all have free versions available include:
- Microsoft Teams
- Skype for Business
- Google Hangouts
Currently, OCS staff is practicing social distancing and not conducting in-person meetings. “We are always available for a live chat, though,” said Peach. “If you have questions or feel more comfortable having a ‘face-to-face’ meeting with your finance professional, just let him or her know. Any member of our staff will be happy to connect virtually.”
How Can We Help?
At Oakmont Capital Services, our team has been working remotely, practicing social distancing, and watching way too much news. But because of this, we understand that many businesses (especially small businesses) are finding this time of uncertainty extra challenging. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We’re here to help our customers navigate through this difficult time. Please stay safe and healthy!
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