USAA Bank is establishing itself as an innovative competitor in the direct lending space with its augmented reality app pilot — a move meant to provide consumers with a holistic approach to the car-buying experience, Renee Horne, vice president of consumer lending experiences, told Auto Finance News.
“USAA doesn’t go through dealerships like many of the larger banks,” Horne said. “We like to be in the driver’s seat of members’ direct lending experience. We like to own that.”
The app allows consumers to scan cars on the road and apply for an auto loan from local inventory right on the spot. Once the vehicle is identified, USAA will offer insurance quotes and auto loan rates for a direct financing deal or the ability to refinance an existing loan.
For now, leasing is unavailable in the app. USAA may integrate lease options if consumer demand persists, Horne said. The loans offered on the app are in sync with USAA’s car-buying service and are the same incentives members currently receive, including a 75 basis point discount on auto loan rates.
The pilot will end Nov. 1, at which time the company will evaluate its viability. “We’re curious to see how members respond and if it delivers on what we intend,” Horne said.
Augmented reality is an example of lenders leveraging the innovative technology to create direct lending processes that almost remove the middleman — or dealer — entirely.
Other lenders using the technology include Capital One Auto Finance, which announced an augmented reality feature for its Auto Navigator car buying platform that will similarly allow consumers to scan cars they see on the road and apply for financing.
Additionally, online car dealership Carvana acquired augmented reality company Car360 earlier this year as it looks to incorporate the technology.