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How can you use digital technology to create a relationship with your customers?

27 Apr, 2017

The inaugural DBC for Vehicle Finance Live Debate was held on Thursday 27th April at the Law Society, London.

How can you use digital technology to create a relationship with your customers?

Our topic on this occasion was: 'How can you use digital technology to create a relationship with your customers?'

Read about the Live Debate and download the opinion piece by David Webber now. 

 Discussion points included:

  • What are the benefits of creating a digital relationship with your customer?
  • Has the vehicle finance industry historically been any good at creating relationships with its customers?
  • How successful has the industry been at implementing technologies to create a relationship with its customers?
  • What would you consider ‘best practise’ in this regard?
  • What are some examples, both from within and from outside of vehicle finance, which companies could look to?
  • How do you determine what are appropriate ‘touch points’ with a customer, and when are they?
  • Is there a risk that too much contact with a customer could alienate them? How often is too often?
  • Is there a difference between captives and independent lenders in the importance of this, or in the method they should go about it?

Our Panel for this Debate:

The Debate was Chaired by Jonathan Minter, Editor, Motor Finance and Chair of the DBC for Vehicle Finance. Jonathan was joined by :

  • Hugh Dickerson, Senior Industry Head, Automotive, Google

  • James McGee, Managing Director, Northridge Finance
  • Jonny CombeGeneral Manager, Product & Channel Development, BMW Group Financial Services
  • Spencer Halil, Director, ALPHERA Financial Services
  • David Webber, Managing Director, Intelligent Environments


The Law Society, London WC2A 1PL

Jonathan Minter

Jonathan Minter

Editor, Motor Finance and Chair of the DBC for Vehicle Finance

Jonathan Minter graduated The University of Nottingham with a BA in History with Contemporary Chinese Studies and an MA in History. He started writing for Motor Finance as an intern at the end of 2012, and was recruited as a reporter in 2013. Following a promotion to senior reporter, Jonathan was made deputy editor of Motor Finance in 2014, and editor in 2015.

David Webber

David Webber

Managing Director, Intelligent Environments

David joined Intelligent Environments in 2012, bringing over 15 years hands-on experience of the financial services software industry. He is responsible for the day-to-day running of the company, working closely with all divisions of the business to effectively determine and define the organisation’s overall strategy, strategic partnerships and global sales and marketing activities. Prior to joining the organisation, he was CEO at electronic trading, risk and exchange systems provider, Patsystems Group, a role he held for 6 years. While in this position David led a geographically diverse team across 7 global offices and oversaw exponential growth across all markets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region as well as the identification and execution of a major acquisition in the US. Before this he was the CEO and Managing Director of retail financial systems provider, AttentiV, a role he held for eight years.

James McGee

James McGee

Managing Director, Northridge Finance

James McGee has worked in the Asset Finance industry for over 29 years with Bank of Ireland. Joining NIIB (Bank of Ireland Group) as a New Business Representative in 1986, James was then appointed as Sales Manager within Mid Ulster region in 1992. In 1995 he was appointed as Head of commercial asset finance and then became Sales Director for the business in 1997.

Jonny Combe

Jonny Combe

General Manager, Product & Channel Development, BMW Group Financial Services

Jonny Combe is a passionate innovator who has been with the BMW Group for eleven years working in various capacities across the group including; Sales, Marketing, Aftersales and Retailer Development. Currently Jonny works within the Financial Services function of the BMW Group and leads their Digital and Innovation Programmes. This includes setting up the first corporate accelerator of its kind within the automotive finance space, something that resulted in new, exciting commercial partnerships between BMW Financial Services and startups looking to disrupt the automotive finance market.

Spencer Halil

Spencer Halil

Director, ALPHERA Financial Services

After more than a decade within the BMW Group Financial Services family, Spencer Halil returned to ALPHERA Financial Services in 2015 to head up the award-winning motor finance provider. Having taken up the directorial role, Spencer is responsible for leading the Alphera business through the next phase of its transformational growth. This follows a period which has seen the business celebrate its most successful results to date, win multiple awards and launch an innovative new business model to help dealers benefit from the FCA market changes. Spencer most recently held the post of General Manager, BMW Group Brands (2013-15), where he played a significant role in implementing a first-to-market, transformational new business model for financial services across the BMW Group in the UK. Prior to his UK role, Spencer was General Manager for Australia, leading the BMW, MINI and Alphabet operations from Melbourne (2011-2013). This followed on from his first spell at the helm of Alphera in the UK, where he provided overall management accountability and direction for the business from 2006-2011. Spencer’s career at BMW was preceded by significant experience in the retail finance and automotive sectors, working with National Westminster Bank, Lloyds Bowmaker (now Black Horse), Peugeot, Volkswagen and Audi. A graduate of Politics and Philosophy at London Guildhall University, Spencer has a large family and a love of riding down mountains on a bike – as well as taking to the roads on his motorbike.

Hugh Dickerson

Hugh Dickerson

Senior Industry Head, Automotive, Google

Hugh Dickerson is a Senior Industry Head at Google leading the team that works in partnership with the automotive industry’s largest players in developing and delivering successful digital marketing strategies. Hugh’s digital know how is backed up by over 20 years experience in the motor industry, with a track record of experience in sales and marketing in all aspects of the industry. This experience includes senior manufacturer roles in retail, fleet and export sales, network development and marketing. This took place in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East at a local, national and international scale. This is further complimented by time both as a retailer and distributor, including a period running the world’s largest dealer. His previous experience was with a number of global brands including Toyota, Lexus and Peugeot.

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