Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Toyota owners can make car payments via new iPhone app

Toyota Financial Services, a division that handles auto financing, leasing and extended services contracts, has launched an iPhone app that lets consumers make car payments.

The company has seen an average of 150,000 mobile visits per month since launching a mobile-optimized site for Toyota and Lexus in January. With more consumers managing their lives via smartphone devices, the company decided to launch an iPhone app as well.

“We have been monitoring usage and found that nearly 60 percent of our customers are using an iPhone when they access the mobile site,” said Jeanice Lee, consumer portal manager for Toyota Financial Services, Torrance, CA.

“So for us it made sense to develop an iPhone app for our customers to manage their accounts on the go,” she said.

“More and more consumers are managing their lives via their smartphones and the app helps Toyota Financial Services round out our online channels for our customers.”

Bypassing desktop
Toyota expects that approximately 20 percent of consumers who own a smartphone will bypass online sites completely and pay their bills directly via smart devices.

Already, in the first few days of the new iPhone app being available, more than 5,200 users have downloaded it.

The Toyota Financial Service iPhone app incorporates personalized QR code technology so that customers can instantly access their accounts via their smartphones even if they have never registered online prior to downloading the app.

Users can scan a personalized mobile bar code which is found on their billing statement.

“If a customer is not registered for an online account with Toyota Financial Services, they can download the iPhone app and scan the QR code available on their billing statements which will populate the registration fields, so they don’t have to enter them manually, simplifying the registration process,” Ms. Lee said.

Customers will begin to see their personalized QR code on their November billing statements with an invitation to download the app.

Different versions of the app for the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands will be available.

Going forward, Toyota plans to add functionality to the app as well as expand to other smartphone devices and potentially tablets.

“Our customers have embraced the mobile marketplace and it is extremely important to Toyota Financial Services to provide our savvy users with the best customer experience possible and part of that is making sure they are able to interact with us via the channel they choose,” Ms. Lee said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York