The Amazing, Stupendous And Fully Autonomous Leasing Machine
by Paul Bent Monitor 100 2023
We take a look into the future, to the year 2073, when Monitor (which has gone on to be known as Monitroid) celebrates its 100th anniversary and the leasing industry contemplates its most recent development — the fully autonomous equipment leasing system.
Paul Bent, Senior Managing Director, The Alta Group
It’s 2073 and we’re looking at the latest edition of Monitroid, the most well-read and respected info-feed in the $380 trillion equipment leasing industry — its 100th anniversary info blast. So plug in your brain chip, sit back and enjoy the ride.
This month’s lead story features an up-todate report on the eagerly awaited recent upgrades to AutonoLease, the amazing autonomous equipment leasing system produced by eLessor, the pioneer in fully autonomous financing facilities. Word on the street is that eLessor has outdone itself (and its third-party artificial intelligence data farmers) this time with its system for building, managing and carrying out financings — from sales to origination to credit to docs to funding to ops to EOT disposition and residuals — with no need for any human intervention. This long-awaited development could be the milestone we’ve all been anticipating from the people and droids at eLessor.
As you no doubt know, the most recent previous generation of AutonoLease from eLessor had already incorporated the remarkable IntelliScore underwriting and credit module that analyzes, scores, underwrites and decisions every type of leasing and financing transaction with no need for applications or documents or even any human participation in the process. Over the past 10 years, the equipment finance industry has been getting more and more used to decisioning transactions using IntelliScore’s proven ability to assess creditworthiness through its proprietary underwriting and scoring algorithm.
Using a combination of retina scans, skin temperature and electrical signals from the brain chips that everyone is now wearing, IntelliScore has rapidly become the standard for credit reviews, approvals and management. All that paperwork we used to require throughout the industry — from financial statements to background checks to credit reports and even what used to be called “guaranties” — has become kind of a joke among all of us in the leasing business, relics of the “good old days.” By now, virtually all credit shops of any size in the business have relegated such methods to the scrap heap, and we all know that human underwriters and credit analysts are quickly becoming obsolete. With IntelliScore, there’s no longer a need for any of them.
And eLessor has now gone even further with Gen VI of AutonoLease, which also includes the company’s recently announced Appraisiac module (formerly called eValuator before the major litigation we covered back in 2062 over the use of that tradename), which has already become a standard add-on to the company’s AutonoLease suite. Using Appraisiac, the current and future values of just about any physical asset located anywhere in the world can be determined to within less than 0.1% variation from actual fair market value using the software’s proprietary access to trillions of data points collected through the internet of things. Tapping into billions of real-time IoT sensors throughout every corner of the world and using its own algorithmic, AI-enhanced, stochastic prediction models, eLessor has demonstrated the ability of its Appraisiac module to provide instantaneous and astoundingly accurate valuations for virtually every type, size, model and feature of equipment throughout the world. The company claims that autonomous equipment appraisals and valuations using Appraisiac will now be the final step in eLessor’s march to establishing AutonoLease as the first fully autonomous end-to-end equipment leasing system.
What’s more, through its rapidly expanding chain of walk-in Lease-O-Matic kiosks, the company will soon offer customers the opportunity to sit comfortably, plug in their brain chips, attach a couple of simple patches to their wrists, look into the iris scanner, and with the assistance of AutonoLease, focus their thoughts on the actual equipment they need to finance and the price they’re willing to pay. Then, in a matter of seconds (assuming, of course, that they qualify through the IntelliScore feature), voila — the financing will be booked onto the blockchain with an acceptable funder, an eLessor fully digital smart contract will be finalized, and the customer will be asked simply to blink their eyes three times to register approval and acceptance of the transaction. Then, as we all know, at that point it’s just a matter of waiting a couple of hours for the Nozama 3D printing and delivery service to bring the visualized equipment directly to the customer, automatically hook it up, run a few system checks and begin providing the services that were literally just thought up by the customer earlier that day.
And payment? Well, most readers are of course already familiar with running all their financial activities through the blockchain, and as you know, eLessor began providing the premier digitized payment and reconciliation service way back in the 2050s. Although the system is much more sophisticated (and many times faster) now than it was back then, eLessor still makes it extremely simple to arrange automatically for payments to be made through AutonoLease with no human interaction at all. Simply settle into the newest version of the Lease-O-Matic kiosk and watch as the system automatically optimizes payments for your specific cash flow budget, capabilities and resources, using publicly available information about your employment, your most recent salary and other income, your family size, your personal needs and all those financial details with which you no longer must concern yourself. You won’t even know (or care) about the financial details.
On another related note, there have been some recent concerns expressed throughout the industry regarding eLessor’s alleged tendency to add certain supplemental charges to the pricing of the company’s AutonoLease transactions. These reportedly include, for example, special maintenance fees for the use of AutonoLease’s Lease-O-Matic kiosks in certain high traffic locations, additional convenience fees for customers who must still wear eyeglasses in spite of the now nearly universal practice of embedding PerfectView systems into their optic nerves, and automatic 15% upgrade or restocking charges for customers whose brain chips have become worn and produce unacceptably high levels of static that interfere with identifying the correct models, types or features of the equipment envisioned.
The company has issued a statement that eLessor is compelled to add these costs and charges so that AutonoLease can be available and affordable to the broadest possible number of potential customers. Skeptics, however, harken back to the beginning of the 21st century when certain lessors added such things as interim rent, mandatory extensions and automatic renewals to their equipment leases simply to increase their yield on transactions — practices that the Leasing Industry Administration and Regulatory Service has been taking strong steps to curtail since its formation in the late 2030s. It remains to be seen how the U.S. Court for the Adjudication of Unwelcome Social Entanglements will deal with these so far somewhat limited accusations.
Meanwhile, as those in the industry have frequently pointed out, since sometime back in the 2040s the term “leasing” has become increasingly synonymous with the providing of combined physical assets and customized services, a growing number of manufacturing companies now offer their products in the form of “leases” rather than purchases, by which they mean arrangements that allow customers to take possession of equipment and at the same time receive related services simply by paying ongoing subscription fees or draws against their available blockchain cash flows.
These so-called leases may, for example, allow customers to select upgrades and other options, return or replace equipment, or exchange items of equipment at any time while continuing to receive such services as delivery of feedstock or raw materials for machines; the use of drivers or operators for various vehicles, machines and other equipment types; the receiving of regular equipment maintenance and software updates; the custom integration of services with other customer operations; ongoing training and support; and many other specialized and applicable activities. Typically, the customer’s blockchain subscription fees (or as they are widely becoming known, “BScrips”) cover everything necessary for the continuing optimal use of the underlying equipment and services, all in what used to be called a bundle. Since the large majority of people now use BScrips for nearly all their personal and business needs, from cars to entertainment to household goods, the term “bundle” has become largely obsolete — as we know, essentially everything used in society and in commerce, whether equipment or services, or both, is now readily available by adding another BScrip to the regular schedule of draws on the blockchain. As the saying goes, “just put it on a BScrip.”
And as part of this continually expanding trend, we expect the benefits of AutonoLease and other similar financing systems and programs to become ever more widely known and accepted. We predict that more and more customers will demand service- and subscription-based “leasing” in their businesses, and more and more manufacturers and vendors will offer leases of this type. The leasing industry is expected to continue flourishing in its ever-evolving role as a provider of specialized BScrips — assets and services that enhance performance and productivity in every major economic sector and are now more automated and easier than ever to create, use and enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Bent is senior managing director of The Alta Group and leader of its legal services practice. He has several decades of experience as an investment banker, equipment leasing CEO and transaction attorney. He wishes to thank the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, other trade groups and the private California attorneys who have contributed greatly to helping steer the DFPI in a workable crafting of these impending regulations.
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