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USAA testing augmented reality app for car shopping

September 25, 2018

San Antonio-based financial services giant USAA is testing a new augmented reality app that company officials hope will make car shopping easier for its members.

With the pilot app, launched Monday, USAA customers can point their mobile phone at a vehicle and get a digital overlay showing such information as the car’s make, model, price range, insurance costs and loan rates. The app works with new and used cars made since 2000.

“You can just point your phone at that car in the mall parking lot and find out what it is and what its price range is,” said Patrick Kelly, USAA’s assistant vice president of digital product development. “So we kind of put the whole shopping experience in the palm of your hand.”

USAA is road-testing the app with as many as 1,000 members. Those customers interested in participating in what’s dubbed the Augmented Reality Car Shopping Experience can do so at usaalabs.com.

“We have to act and innovate just as much as all these digitally native companies that produce an experience for (their) users,” Kelly explained. “Apple, Amazon, Facebook produce digital experiences for people that have cell phones. That kind of sets the expectation in the market.

“Financial institutions have to be able to support these new technologies because there’s going to be an expectation by the consumer to actually support them,” he added.

To read the full story, see Tuesday’s Business section or click here to visit our subscriber website, ExpressNews.com.

Patrick Danner is a San Antonio-based staff writer covering banking and civil courts. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | pdanner@express-news.net | Twitter: @AlamoPD

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