Since the introduction of GDPR in May last year, the online motor finance market has benefitted from greater conversion rates, according to iVendi.

This is the opposite of what was expected, according to James Tew, chief executive of iVendi, who said the company had expected the new legislation to reduce the conversion rate of customers that were applying for finance.

He explained: “When we first started looking at the implications of GDPR a couple of years ago, we thought it was inevitable that putting tougher and more compliant processes in place would lead to a slight decrease in conversions.

“However, now that we are almost 12 months into its operation, the opposite has proven to be true. Within our secure customer account area, all other factors pertaining to approvals have remained largely unchanged but we have seen a rise of a few percentage points in conversions. GDPR appears to be the reason.”

Tew suggested that the revelation could serve as a valuable lesson for iVendi and the wider industry, that regulation could create a boost to business.

Two factors are probably responsible for the increased conversion rates, according to Tew. Firstly, the existence of GDPR might make some customers more comfortable with the whole process; and secondly, new regulation like GDPR can prompt organisations to create better products for their customers.

Tew said: “Like many other companies, we found that GDPR was a much bigger piece of work than we originally envisaged, simply because it affected so many aspects of the online motor retail platforms and products that we provide to dealers, manufacturers and lenders.”

iVendi has invested more than £1m to ensure that its platforms are GDPR compliant for its 7,000 dealers. This included creating a secure consumer account area, the ability to hide customer bank details from view once entered, controls over the export of customer data and the addition of fair processing notices for lenders.