BMW Group Financial Services, a unit of automobile giant BMW, has teamed up with blockchain startup Bloom to develop a customer lending solution, as announced by Bloom on their official blog. Together, the two are trying to make it easier for customers to apply for financing. 

Both the companies understand that the traditional process of lending is rather tedious and complex. Moreover, it also puts the customer data at risk. Basically, the technology that Bloom is developing for BMW will allow those looking forward to apply for credit to secure their data using a local device (their mobile phone) which will ensure that there is no risk to the data. 

Anne Ching, Head of Partnerships at Bloom commented on this partnership:

“Bloom is excited to participate in such a forward-thinking initiative. I’m excited to be working with the BMW Financial Services team to build a streamlined and easy lending experience to improve the customer journey.”

The application developed by Bloom makes use of Ethereum blockchain and IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) technologies to create a decentralized credit scoring system. This application gives users a benefit of privacy and secrecy of data. The fact that they are putting up their financial and personal data on a cryptographically secured platform ensures that it is neither misused nor accessed by anyone who it is not supposed to be accessed by. Moreover, the application is quite well designed with a smooth user interface, keeping the user experience in mind. 

This partnership has developed as a part of the BMW Collaboration Lab 2018, where 6 startups get to work for 10 weeks with BMW Financial Services at its office in Hilliard, Ohio. It is a prestigious program as only six startups are selected out of the over 200 names that apply for it. The program focuses on blockchain strategy, data analytics and insights, digitalizing the customer journey and wildcard.

 Ian Smith, CEO of BMW Group Financial Services USA, commented that:

“[BMW is] looking to examine any and all methods of how blockchain ledgers could support the transformation of current data warehousing, payment, and customer information tracking. Ultimately, our goal is to enable BMW to automate a lot of processing and increase the tracking and security of information.

By working collaboratively with talented entrepreneurial companies, we will drive new thinking, explore new technologies and develop pioneering solutions. We will ensure that we continue to remain highly relevant and meaningful for our customers well into the future. Collaboration is where innovation and implementation meet.”

BMW has shown a keen interest in the blockchain technology in the past as well. Earlier this year in May, BMW teamed up with cryptocurrency startup DOVU to set up a cryptocurrency rewards system for tracking mileage over blockchain. The company is also a part of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a consortium of automobile manufacturers, which have come together to make use of blockchain and related technologies to improve the automobile sector. 

Other car-makers have also been testing out the use of blockchain technology. Earlier this year we saw Porsche introduce blockchain-based applications which would help the users lock or unlock their cars. Moreover, Ford too has been experimenting towards integrating this technology - as the company came up with a patent which talks about car-to-car cryptocurrency payments. Blockchain technology is impressing the world and automobile industries are looking forward to utilizing it to the fullest.