WASHINGTON – CUNA Mutual Group rolled out a new mobile car-buying app this morning at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference that will assist credit union members in shopping for and purchasing a vehicle. 

The patent-pending technology, known as AskAuto, is a downloadable smartphone and tablet application that offers credit union members vehicle information and loan application assistance to simplify their vehicle-buying experience.

AskAuto also gives credit unions the ability to send messages to their members while the member is on a car dealer’s lot using GPS technology. These messages are customizable and can provide members guidance on the best loan available from their credit union.

“It’s easy to use, and will help credit union members shop and buy smart,” said Steve Hoke, director of loan growth products at CUNA Mutual Group and product leader for AskAuto. “This technology gives members the ability to apply for a loan anytime, anywhere using their smartphone.”

By scanning the vehicle identification number (VIN), the member learns basic vehicle information, including average retail cost of the new or used vehicle and EPA mileage estimates. The application saves this information along with the member’s notes and ranking preferences to allow for an easy comparison between vehicles before deciding to purchase. Once a decision is reached, the member can also submit a credit union loan application through AskAuto.

The comparison feature is important to members, according to Hoke. Forty-four percent of likely car buyers plan to use a smartphone to compare prices on the dealer lot.

“AskAuto informs, empowers and meets the expectations of tech-savvy, younger members just entering their peak borrowing years,” Hoke said.

The technology utilizes CUNA Mutual Group’s loanliner.com product, which is used by more than 500 credit unions nationwide.

The loanliner.com application system leverages CUNA Mutual Group's LOANLINER lending solutions to ensure the application presented to the member complies with all appropriate state and federal regulations and required disclosures. Where available the loanliner.com application system interfaces with credit union's loan origination system to provide an underwriting decision back to the member in seconds and then transports application data back to the loan origination system.

More than $600 million in loan requests have been submitted via CUNA Mutual Group’s smartphone loan technology since it debuted in June of 2011, and 45% of smartphone loan applicants express interest in payment protection products, according to Hoke.

Early adopter credit unions will begin using AskAuto in March, and the full release is scheduled for early this summer.

To learn more, watch the AskAuto video, follow @CUNAMutualGroup on Twitter, circle +CUNA Mutual Group on Google+, or visit http://www.cunamutual.com/pressroom.

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