Cryptocurrency options now available to Canadian dealerships

Fred Brothers

Controversial, and historically volatile though it may be, cryptocurrency is becoming a legitimate financial instrument. It’s the product of a huge amount of investment, particularly by Millennials and Gen Zs. To serve this market, which may have less access to good credit, some dealerships are now accepting crypto as payment and collateral. Budd’s Group of Companies and Farquhar Chrysler are two groups adopting the tech needed to complete dealership transactions using this currency.

“As we kept seeing more and more millennials and future generations turn to crypto, we knew we needed to find a quick and innovative solution to support these new car buyers,” said Ryan Farquhar, owner and president of Farquhar Chrysler.

Often younger buyers have less credit history, and because, by definition, crypto operates outside established institutions, it can still be difficult for a person with significant wealth in crypto to borrow funds, make down payments and pay for purchases. But there are a growing number of companies who would like to change that. Cion Digital is one of them.

One of Cion Digital’s main target markets is auto dealers, and the company is expanding into the Canadian market to enable dealers to support cryptocurrency transactions. This new capability will allow car buyers to both pay and borrow using cryptocurrency to purchase cars.

“Fortunately, Cion Digital allows car buyers to buy with crypto and for those needing financing, Cion Digital will allow our car buyers to access a lending marketplace with competitive rates in real-time at our dealership,” says Farquhar. “We know that having super-prime credit scores is unrealistic for younger generations, so finding a process to support them without relying strictly on antiquated credit scoring was essential for us.”

Budds’ Group of companies operates dealerships all over Ontario, and is another early adopter of accepting payment by crypto. “We’re excited to announce that we have partnered with Cion Digital to offer car buyers a brand new payment experience”, says general manager Chris Budd in an email to Canadian auto dealer.  “With more and more customers investing in cryptocurrency, the time is right to offer easy to use crypto payment options and crypto secured loans.”

Cion promises “significantly lower” loan rates, and a platform they say helps car dealers support the future generations of car buyers who often have non-prime credit ratings. “With more than half of Millennials now owning crypto, it’s important to find a way to help dealers’ support and manage this fast-growing market of buyers who want more financing and purchasing options at the dealership,” explains Fred Brothers, President and Co-founder of Cion Digital.

The company says its ready-to-deploy modular payments and lending platform will provide auto dealers with “access to all the connectivity, infrastructure and support needed to rapidly deploy blockchain-based real-time payments and lending solutions, and to incorporate digital assets into existing traditional and legacy financial systems”.

Through Cion, buyers at participating dealerships can choose to place a deposit on a vehicle with cryptocurrency, make a down payment, or pay for the vehicle in full. The company also says that car buyers can also use cryptocurrency as collateral to qualify for low-interest loans with lenders in Cion Digital’s lending marketplace, which “will provide a strategic edge for dealerships and a better deal for car buyers,” says Brothers.

“We are planning to launch crypto payments first with our BMW, Land Rover and Jaguar locations, and crypto-secured loans shortly after,” says Budd.  “We are also retailers of Subaru, Mazda, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Mini, and look forward to expanding access to crypto in all brands. We’re proud to be one of the first dealerships in Canada to join the crypto evolution of payments.”

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