With smartphone in hand, members will have another resource to turn as they shop for a new vehicle.
CUNA Mutual Group offered a sneak peek of its AskAuto downloadable smartphone and table application Monday morning at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington.
By scanning the vehicle identification number, the member learns basic vehicle information, including average retail cost of the new or used vehicle and EPA mileage estimates, according to CUNA Mutual.
The application saves this information along with the member’s notes and ranking preferences to allow for a comparison between vehicles before deciding to purchase. Once a decision is reached, the member can also submit a credit union loan application through AskAuto, CUNA Mutual sa
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The comparison feature is really important to members, said Steve Hoke, director of loan growth products at CUNA Mutual and product leader for AskAuto.
“This technology gives members the ability to apply for a loan anytime, anywhere using their smartphone,” Hoke said.
Forty-four percent of likely car buyers plan to use a smartphone to compare prices on the dealer lot, according to CUNA Mutual, citing data from “Mobile Auto Insights,” Greystripe Inc., April 2011.
“AskAuto also gives credit unions the ability to send messages to their members using GPS technology while the member is on a car dealer’s lot,” Hoke said.
Hoke explained that AskAuto uses patent-pending technology to help credit unions reach their members on the car dealer lot by sending messages to them. These messages are customizable and can provide members guidance on the best loan available from their credit union, he added.
“AskAuto informs, empowers and meets the expectations of tech-savvy, younger members just entering their peak borrowing years,” Hoke said.
The technology uses CUNA Mutual’s loanliner.com product, which is used by more than 500 credit unions nationwide, according to the company.
More than $600 million in loan requests have been submitted via CUNA Mutual’s smartphone loan technology since it debuted in June 2011, and 45% of smartphone loan applicants express interest in payment protection products, Hoke said.
Early adopter credit unions will begin using AskAuto in March, and the full release is scheduled for early this summer, according to CUNA Mutual.