Texting Update

We've made the biggest overhaul to text messaging in Approve Owl since launching the feature.

Responded Status

We're now tracking if an inbound text message has been responded to. Applicants with unresponded text messages will have a yellow dot throughout the app to indicate that they have an unresponded message.

Unresponded List

Dashboard now has a list of applicants with unresponded text messages. This list is sorted by the date of the last unresponded message. You can click on an applicant in the list to go to their profile.

Messages UI Limited to Engaged Applicants

Previously, the Messages UI would show all followed applicants. Now it's limited to just applicants that are actively texting with you.

Upload Documents from Text Messages

If an applicant sends you a photo of a stipulation or other document, you can now upload that document to their profile. Just click the upload button next to the photo in the messages list.

Delivery Status Updates

We now will show you the delivery status of the text message. This will show you if the applicant's phone carrier has reported the message as delivered.

Response Time Tracking

For managers we now track the average response time for texting for each user and each applicant. This will help you identify if you have any bottlenecks in your texting process.

Better Opt Out Handling

We have always supported opt out requests from applicants if they reply "STOP" or "UNSUBSCRIBE." However, we now support opt out requests from carriers to help keep you compliant with new texting rules.

We also compile a list of opted out applicants so you can see who has opted out of sales text messages.

New Feature

3CX Integration

We have improved our integration with the 3CX phone system with new features: contact information fetching and call logging.

When enabled, the 3CX CRM integration will fetch contact information and display the contact's name in the application or on your desktop phone when a call is placed or received if the applicant has an active profile in Approve Owl. You can also enabled automatic contact creation in your 3CX contacts list.

Additionally, you can enable call logging in 3CX to automatically log calls to and from applicants in Approve Owl. This will create a new call log entry for each call placed or received by the applicant and the agent or sales rep that handled the call. We will only log calls if there is an active profile for the applicant in Approve Owl.

We also support Click-to-Call from within Approve Owl when you install the 3CX browser extension for Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.


Applicant Tags

We've added a new feature to help you better organize your applicants. You can now add tags to applicants and filter by those tags in the applicant list.

To add a tag to an applicant, click on the applicant in the applicant list and then click the "Add Tag" icon. You can add as many tags as you want to an applicant.

To filter by a tag, click the button with the tag name in the applicant list. You can apply other filters to the list as well.

We hope this new feature helps you better organize your applicants. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know.


FTC Safeguards Rule Update

We have shipped another set of updates to help dealers be compliant with the FTC Safeguards Rule.

We've enabled our new data retention policy of only storing consumer data for up to 24 months.

We've also added a new access log view to help you maintain compliance with the new rules. The new access log view is available in the business portal under the "Organization Settings" menu. You can filter by date range and user to see which applicants a user has viewed during a day.


New Applicant Sign Up Features

We've added a few new features to the applicant sign up process to make it easier to attribute applicants to the correct sales rep or location.

Sales Rep Landing Pages have also been simplified to make it easier for applicants to find the right sales rep. We now show the sales rep's location information and a map of the location on the landing page along with business hours.


Appointment List Updated

We've updated the appointment list to make it easier to see which appointments are coming up and to better handle a large number of appointments in the queue.

You can filter by a few select date ranges, see just your appointments or everyone's and filter by location.


Mobile-friendly Business Portal

Our consumer portal was already mobile-friendly, but now our business portal is too! This means that your dealership users can now use Approve Owl on their phones and tablets.


Uploaded Document Checking

Uploaded documents are increasingly featuring encryption and digital signing that prevents them from being tampered with or digitally combined with other documents. Previously, this would lead to errors when downloading a document packet in Approve Owl that includes one of these encrypted or locked PDFs.

Now, Approve Owl will check uploaded documents for a variety of issues after it's been uploaded, and alert your users when a document will not be included in a document packet because of these tamper protections and instruct users to download the documents separately.


FTC Safeguards Rule Update

The FTC has extended the compliance deadline for the Safeguards Rule by six months to June 9, 2023. As such, we are modifying our roll out plans for a few changes. Data retention and data masking changes have already been rolled out.

Audit trail log viewing and SSO switchover requirements have been pushed back until Later in 2023. Dealerships can still switch to Microsoft or Google SSO for the MFA requirement at any time, but we will not require switching until closer to the new deadline.

New Feature

Support for Google Single Sign-On

We have added Google GSuite as a single sign-on (SSO) provider for dealerships to access Approve Owl. This joins our Microsoft SSO option as well as our email/password option.

FTC Safeguards Rule

The FTC requires dealers to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access consumer and customer data.

On December 5, 2022, Approve Owl will require the use of a single sign-on (SSO) provider by all dealership employees to access the dealership portal. We support Microsoft 365 authentication and now Google GSuite authentication for business (not individual users).

Both SSO providers allow businesses to require the use of MFA to access data and applications. It will be up to the dealership to enable that requirement with the SSO provider to stay compliant with the new rules.

We will contact your dealership later this month to enable SSO for your dealership if you are not already using SSO.

If you do not currently have a Microsoft 365 or GSuite business account for your dealership, we will keep email/password as an option, but you may not be in compliance with the MFA requirement that the FTC has placed access consumer data for dealerships.


New Landing Page Options

New are Sale Zone landing pages. Applicants can now be directed to a particular sales zone for creating a profile. This will automatically set the applicant to that sales zone instead of them being sorted by the system based on their address.

Also, user landing pages have been updated. If an applicant views a user landing page, the user will automatically be opted in to following the applicant for profile updates. This simplifies how applicants and users get attached via custom invite links.


FTC Safeguards Rule Update

We have shipped a few new updates to help dealers be compliant with the FTC Safeguards Rule that is going in to effect December 9, 2022.

Data Retention

On December 5, 2022, Approve Owl will delete all consumer profiles that are older than 24 months. Then, on a weekly basis, we will prune data older than 24 months. This is a dramatic change from our previous data retention policy, but it is required to stay compliant with the new rules.

If federal or state regulation requires you to keep customer data longer than 24 months, please download the consumer data in Approve Owl as a document packet for storage in your DMS or other storage system that has an appropriate retention policy.

Data Masking

On December 5, 2022, Approve Owl will mask part of the phone numbers in the Applicants list views. You will still be able to search by phone number and view the full phone number within an individual applicant's profile, but we are masking personal identifiable data in bulk lists views.

Audit Trails

Approve Owl has activity lists for applicants and users, however these lists only include entries for data creation and data manipulation.

On December 5th, Approve Owl will be have a new audit list (separate from activity lists) for viewing applicant data. We will long every applicant a user has viewed during a day in a separate lists so you can maintain compliance.

Enhanced Security

Approve Owl has always encrypted data at rest and in transit, and we have firewalls, EDR software and other safeguards in place to protect consumer data. It's why our banking and identity partners trust us to fetch and store consumer data.

We have implemented additional layers of security, and from time to time, you might be challenged when accessing the dealership portal by a CAPTCHA before accessing data.


Unarchiving applicants

In order to keep your applicants list workable, Approve Owl supports automatic archiving of old applicant profiles. You are also able to manually archive applicants if the deal falls through.

You can now un-archive an applicant profile in Approve Owl as long as there is currently not an active profile for the applicant.

New Feature

Automatic Appointment Notice and Reminder Messages

Now when you create an appointment in Approve Owl, you will be given the option to allow the system to automatically send an SMS message to the applicant with the appointment details such as the time and date as well as the location's address.

If the appointment is set for the next day or later, the system will also automatically send a reminder SMS message to the applicant the morning of their appointment with the time, date and location's address.

New Feature

Outbound ADF support

We've added outbound ADF support to Approve Owl so basic contact information can be sent to another CRM or DMS automatically.


Better Banking Integration

We've updated the consumer portal with a new, cleaner look and added support for banks and other financial institutions that support OAuth. This is a new authentication scheme that allows the applicant to enter their username and passwords on the bank's website instead of the consumer portal.

If you applicant has saved passwords for their bank's website on their phone or computer, their password manager will not auto-fill their credentials for less friction and then redirect the applicant back to your portal to finish up their credit application.


Activity and Notifications Improvements

We have updated applicant activities to log more events. “Invited,” has been broken up in to “Created” and “Invite Sent” to support the case of only adding a profile and not sending an invite. When a “Created” event is logged it includes a channel identifier. The channel identifier denotes how the profile was originally created. Channels could be the business portal, consumer portal, or an applicant sign up from an external source such as another website.

Approve Owl also now logs all the CRM features such as followed, note created, reminder created, appointment created, appointment dismissed, profile archived, and when a sales zone is changed.

Activity Stream

The UI for the Activity Stream has been updated and now includes a filtering option. The stream in Messages has also been updated to include the new card style. Also, managers have access to user-specific activity streams to watch what a user has been doing, and admins have access to an organization-wide activity stream.


Approve Owl is now smarter about who gets notifications. No longer will you get notifications about your own actions such as sending an outbound message. Also, inbound messages now have their own list in the notification sections of the user dashboard, so they don’t get missed.

New Feature

User Dashboard

Approve Owl has quite a few different notifications options for you to use however best fits your individual workflow such as applicant activity notifications, reminders, appointments and user mentions in notes.

Today, we are shipping a new unified dashboard that pulls all of your notifications together in one view. You can see use the individual lists, but the new user dashboard gives you the recently highlights so you can better plan your day.

New Feature

Appointment setting

In addition to notes and reminders, Approve Owl is another CRM feature: appointments. You can now set appointments (with Sale Zone support) so you can plan your day accordingly.

While reminders can only be seen by you, appointments can be seen by your whole organization. And just like notes and reminders, what you write in an appointments are private to your organization. You don't have to worry about applicants seeing the notes you've made.


New Subjects in Report Card

We've added four new subjects to our Report Card:

  • Bankruptcy findings
  • OFAC listed status
  • Days of transactions
  • Total deposit amount (as a monthly average)

We hope these additional aggregations improve your underwriting ability and can be the foundation for automatic approvals in the future.


Reports are now in one place

We've moved reports from all across Approve Owl into one location. Now, you can click on Reports in the top navigation bar and can quickly view them all in one place instead of hunting down for the data throughout the platform.


Leave yourself a note to follow up with an applicant with Reminders

From any applicant view, you can click "Set Reminder" and pick a follow up time. From the new alarm clock icon in the top navigation bar, you can view all your upcoming reminders and see which ones are now due. When a reminder becomes due, the alarm clock icon will turn yellow, alerting you to checkout your list of reminders.


Keep in touch with applicants with Messages

Approve Owl now has built-in text messaging. Active applicants that you are following now appear in a new view called Messages. You can scroll through your most recent applicants (ordered by last updated at) in the left panel and view just enough details about them in the right panel.

From there you can text your applicant and receive texts and updates in real-time. The left panel list will update in real-time, too. As your followed applicants update their profile or send texts, they will bubble up to the top of your list just like the messaging app you use on your phone.


PDF Updates

Today we are shipping our improved PDFs.


We have created a PDF version of the report card so it can now be included in document packets. We also created an all new identification card PDF so both images plus scanned data is viewable on one page.


The identity summary now includes SentiLink scores, and all the attributes have been de-duplicated. The financial summary now includes employment (moved from identity) and includes information on other deposits. On the account statements, the deposits table is now grouped by name to so you can see frequency and totals by name.


Automatic Applicant Triage

If your sales zone represents a physical location, you can now add address information to it. This allows organization to automatically triage new applicants to the correct sales zone.

If an applicant isn't in a sales zone, or is in your default zone, Approve Owl can triage applicant automatically to will place the applicant in the nearest sales zone based on their address.


New Report Card Subjects

Report Cards have been updated with improvements to some existing subjects and some new ones.

  • Identity Risk score
  • ID card scanning status
  • ID card name match
  • Local spending percentage
  • Local references percentage
  • Checking account average daily balance
  • Negative balance average
  • Other deposits amount
  • Other deposits top source

The Report Card now summarizes other three dozen data points that help give you a clear picture of the approvability of your applicants.


Improved ID Card Consumer Task

We've updated the consumer portal task for uploading ID cards. This new flow is more friendly with larger tap zones for uploads, live image preview, and we will scan the ID cards as they are being uploaded.

Applicants are given a few tries to upload a readable image before being asked to manually enter the details if the ID card is unable to be read.

This new flow has improved the scan rates of ID cards to over 90% and resulted in better quality images for document packets.

New Feature

SentiLink Identity Verification

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have integrated with SentiLink to provide you with a risk assessment score for the applicant's potential for fraud if the applicant has submitted enough information for automatic scoring.

SentiLink provides you with a score and top reasons for the score across these types of fraud:

Composite Synthetic Fraud

A composite synthetic fraud score indicates the likelihood an applicant is synthetic.

First Party Synthetic Fraud

Detects applicants using their true name and date of birth, but an SSN that doesn’t belong to them. They are manipulating their true identity.

Third Party Synthetic Fraud

Identifies applicants using a name, date of birth and SSN combination that is completely fabricated.

ID Theft

Identifies traditional forms of ID Theft as well as emerging fraud vectors.

SentiLink scores combined with our automatic government ID card scanning and with identity data from a financial institution can give you confidence in your applicant's identity without pulling a credit score.

New Feature

ID Card Scanning

Starting today, we are scanning the barcode on the back of identification cards after they've been uploaded by the applicant. ID information replaces the applicant added information in the Identity screen of the applicant's profile, if available.

We've scanned all previously uploaded ID cards and experienced over an 80% success rate scanning them. A few reasons for the failures include: blurry or out of focus images, scratched up cards, or light reflection blocking a portion of the barcode.

We will be addressing those issues in an upcoming update to the applicant portal which will coach the applicant on taking better pictures and prompt the applicant to re-take the picture if we are unable to scan their ID card.


User Mentions in Notes

We've added the ability to mention a user in your applicant notes. If you want to get someone's attention on your team in Approve Owl to an applicant's profile, leave an "@username" in your note and a notification will be created for that user.


Caller ID Name Comparison

We've improved our name comparison feature to account for the roughness of caller ID information and now can match names from caller ID against the give applicant name with a 95% accuracy.

There are still a few edge cases we are working out like the use of initials in Caller ID information.

New Feature

Applicant Notes

We've added the ability to make private, internal-use only notes on applicants. You can use this feature to log call attempts, make notes about pre-qualification parameters or to detail new facts about the applicant you've discovered while talking or texting with the applicant.

New Feature

Sales Zones for Applicants and Users

We've added Sales Zones as an optional way to organize users and applicants.

Sales Zones map to how your organization expresses your location hierarchy. Maybe you have your locations in districts or regions or maybe a single location has both a new car and used car office. You can configure your sales zones to match the way you organize your locations.

When enabled, users will be required to join the sales zone they belong to. Users will only be allowed to list applicants in their sales zone or any child zone. This allows for regional operators to see all locations in their region. Any applicants invited by that user will automatically get added to the user's zone.

Users will still be able to search for applicants across all sales zones from the dashboard search.

If an applicant applies on their own through your landing page, anyone in your main, top-level sales zone can filter them to the correct zone for those users to have access to their profile.

New Feature

Report Cards

Approve Owl is a great way to dive in to identity and financial data about your applicants, but some times you just need a quick summary of how your applicants stack up. Introducing Report Cards.

We are starting with over two dozen different attributes across your applicant's identity, financial and geographic data and presenting the data and verification in a quick summary.

Along with the data, we are also providing guidance for how you should interpret the data with color coded grades of positive, warning, danger, informational, and unknown.

Get started today

It’s time to improve your pre-qualification process and know more about your applicants upfront.

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