TORONTO — The Royal Bank of Canada’s automotive app, Drive, was launched as part of the bank’s broader strategy to extend its reach beyond traditional banking and lending services, Michael Dobbins, RBC’s chief strategy and corporate development officer, said Thursday.
The Drive app is designed to help users better manage their vehicles while connecting them with dealers, Dobbins told the Automotive News Canada Congress in Toronto. The app, which launched in 2018, allows users to book service appointments, receive recall notices, get valuations on their vehicles and more.
It’s one of several ventures the bank has created outside of the banking space. Other services launched through RBC Ventures include Movesnap, a personal moving concierge, and Butter, which organizes a user’s subscriptions and memberships.
As consumer behaviour changes, opportunities open up for businesses such as RBC, Dobbins said. “We compete for the finance angle in this business with lots of other scale players: banks, captives, etc. And we’re constantly trying to improve that. But that’s for maybe two million people a year. There are 20 million cars on the road.”
Drive users can book service appointments at dealerships through the app. Dobbins said connecting customers with dealerships, even years after a buyer purchased their vehicle, will help stores win more business while supplementing the bank’s auto financing and insurance business.
“To the extent that we can combine these two points and get customers back into the stores on six-year-old or seven-year-old vehicles to get dealer service, I think that’s going to be a win for the industry, a win for our customers and a win for the bank,” he said.