Add BMO Harris to list of banks aligning with auto fintechs

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BMO Harris Bank in Chicago is the latest bank to partner with a fintech that speeds up the auto lending process.

The bank announced Wednesday a collaborative agreement with AutoGravity, which connects car buyers with lenders and dealerships to provide consumers with prequalified finance offers on cars within minutes of their applications.

BMO Harris, a unit of Bank of Montreal, will become one of AutoGravity's preferred lenders, and the bank's customers can use the service through AutoGravity's standalone mobile app.

The bank will continue its relationships with car dealers around the country. It said it has added more than 500 dealers and entered seven states this year.

The partnership comes at a time when consumers are pushing for a car-shopping experience that is more like the one they have shopping for other products.

In February, U.S. Bank teamed up with AutoGravity to create a platform on to simplify loan applications and speed decision-making. In January, JPMorgan Chase established a partnership with AutoFi to improve the car-buying experience for its customers.

With AutoGravity, buyers can choose from new or used vehicles, shop by monthly payment amount, browse local inventory, apply for financing and select a personalized financing offer, all using its app on iOS, Android or the web.

"When we started to search for a partner, AutoGravity really stood out to us for their intuitive app and its large user base, which validated to us that they were delivering a seamless experience to consumers that was well received," Craig Harter, the bank’s head of U.S. indirect auto, wrote in an email to American Banker.

AutoGravity has nearly 3 million users, who have sought more than $3 billion in vehicle financing.

“BMO Harris Bank is recognized as one of the top U.S. banks in the automotive finance space, and they have strong relationships with dealers across the country,” Mark Humphrey, vice president of AutoGravity’s Lender Network, said in a press release. “We are proud to partner with them to provide car buyers greater transparency, control and confidence in the purchase process.”

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