Capital One Auto Finance will launch a new feature on its pre-qualification app Auto Navigator in the coming months that will allow consumers to scan cars they see on the streets to see estimated financing offers, the company announced at SXSW last week.
A lot of car shopping is done by browsing online, but many will spot a vehicle they like while walking down the street, the company said. This new augmented reality feature allows consumers to use their phone’s camera to identify a vehicle’s make and model and serve up financing information on the spot.
“This could include information such as their pre-qualified financing, their estimated monthly payment, nearby dealerships where they could buy the car, and much more,” Sanjiv Yajnik, president of financial services, and Curtis Campbell, managing vice president of product, wrote in a Medium post. “Imagine customers being able to get access to this type of individualized information at the point of need, real-time!”
Capital One is using Apple and Google’s augmented reality framework as well as the lender’s own proprietary technology to identify the vehicles.
“We’ve optimized the experience so customers can scan multiple cars in a session, and get more information about a car they’ve already scanned,” the authors wrote. “We then utilize Capital One’s proprietary models to customize the offer so they can see their estimated monthly payment.”
The feature was inspired, in part, by a survey Capital One commissioned, which found that 50% of people report researching and buying a car is more time-consuming than deciding where to go to college and choosing a baby name. Additionally, 62% of car buyers are not fully confident they got a great deal the last time they bought a car, and 78% of Americans admit the last time they bought a car, they lost confidence that they would get the car they wanted during the shopping process.
“What we realized as we dug deeper into the car-shopping process, is that some people are left discouraged, realizing the payments are (much) more than they expected because the total cost of ownership is larger than the price of the car,” the authors wrote. “But oftentimes they don’t know this at the beginning of the shopping process when they set their hearts on a particular car.”
Capital One launched Auto Navigator in 2015 and has been growing its auto portfolio lately. In the fourth quarter, Capital One surpassed Wells Fargo Auto to become the third largest automotive bank lender in the market with a $54 billion portfolio.