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What is Virtual F&I?

By Amanda Pliskow | Aug 14, 2020

Last updated on Sep 26, 2023


Consumer expectations have changed for automotive retail, and dealerships need to evolve to meet the demand. Virtual F&I solves for both of these needs by creating a seamless, convenient experience for dealers, F&I managers and customers. Data shows that establishing these processes at your dealership increases efficiencies, maintains or improves PVR, solves for personnel needs and creates a better customer experience.

In this overview, we'll define Virtual F&I and showcase a few examples of how different Virtual F&I models can be put into practice at car dealers of all sizes, as well as how you can implement it with your existing technology.

Read on to learn why dealerships nationwide have successfully used this flexible process 30,000+ times.

Download the Free Guide: How Top Dealerships Are Evolving Their F&I Process →

What is Virtual F&I?

Virtual F&I is when an F&I Manager and customer are in different locations when completing the F&I transaction. Instead of the traditional in-person conversation, it leverages video communication tools to create an interactive, customized menu presentation from anywhere.

How is Virtual F&I different?

Think of it as a familiar process conducted in a new way. With Virtual F&I, you provide the same customized, personal interactions for your customers online as you would in-store. By creating consistent experiences no matter where customers prefer to buy, you gain new opportunities for profitability without a big investment.

In many cases, you can use your existing technology to seamlessly integrate Virtual F&I into your sales process, all while maintaining or increasing PVR. Virtual F&I also significantly boosts CSI, with 89% of customers reporting they prefer Virtual F&I to traditional in-store F&I.

Types of Virtual F&I

With a variety of customizable service options, you can select the model that best enhances your business. There are three main categories of Virtual F&I offerings:

  1. Remote F&I
  2. On-demand F&I
  3. Centralized F&I

With dealership operations evolving as fast as the automotive industry, you can also create a hybrid mix of the options and customize your Virtual F&I offerings to support or supplement your in-store F&I processes.


Remote F&I

This option empowers your F&I Managers to conduct the F&I process on both remote and off-site sales, which allows your customers to complete as much of the F&I process with you as possible without having to come into the store.

Use cases for Remote F&I are when customers are taking direct delivery of their vehicle, prefer not to come into the dealership or when they don't live or work near the dealership.


On-Demand F&I

When your store needs extra support, you can reach out to JM&A Group's skilled Virtual F&I agents to deliver F&I deals to your customers as representatives of your dealership. This is ideal for instances when a salesperson has completed their portion of the deal, but an F&I Manager isn't available at the store.

Download the Free Guide: How Top Dealerships Are Evolving Their F&I Process →


Centralized F&I

JM&A Group can train your associates on how to become successful Virtual F&I Managers. Streamline operations and enhance your efficiencies by taking Virtual F&I operations in-house and enable your F&I Managers at one store to support other stores remotely, or establish a central Virtual F&I office out of a single location. 

75% of purchase intent customers prefer to take complete documentation and delivery outside of the dealership. This process allows you to meet the customer where they are. 

Jonathan Jordan

The Advantages of Virtual F&I

Transitioning your team and dealership model to Virtual F&I can seem complicated. In reality, it's simply a modern approach to an established part of the vehicle sales process that can have a number of advantages to the customer and the dealership.

  • It's a cornerstone to enabling a fully digital sales process and as a result, a convenient, customer-friendly approach to F&I.
  • Buyers feel more comfortable and in control of the process, which can lead them to buy more than they would in an in-person setting.
  • Virtual F&I can lead to enhanced customer loyalty by creating a focus on convenience that other retail industries capitalize on.
  • With the proper training, it enables F&I managers to increase their reach and earning potential.

There are several ways to empower your virtual F&I strategy to enhance profitability and remain customer focused.

Backed by our team of Virtual F&I experts, you can extend your success and create new pathways to profitability in F&I. From selecting the model that works best for you to designing a plan and measuring results, we can create a custom and seamless pathway to success.

Free Resource - Develop Your Virtual F&I Strategy - Download the Free Guide

*While JM&A Group can assist you with setting up a virtual F&I process, JM&A cannot provide legal advice regarding state-specific regulatory requirements relating to the online selling process. Please consult your dealer counsel and dealer association for information on your state's regulatory requirements.