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CUNA Mutual Unveils AskAuto App
WASHINGTON (2/26/13)--New technology that assists credit union members in shopping for and purchasing a vehicle was unveiled Monday by CUNA Mutual Group at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington D.C. 

Click to view larger image CUNA Mutual Group's Steve Hoke demonstrates AskAuto mobile lending technology during a press briefing at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference on Monday morning in Washington, D.C.  (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)

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.

"It's easy to use, and will help credit union members shop and buy smart," said Steve Hoke, CUNA Mutual director of loan growth products 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, the member learns basic vehicle information, including average retail cost of the new or used vehicle and Environmental Protection Agency mileage estimates. The application saves the information along with the member's notes and ranking preferences so the member can compare vehicles before a purchase. The member can also submit a credit union loan application through AskAuto.

The comparison feature is really important to members, Hoke said. Forty-four percent of likely car buyers plan to use a smartphone to compare prices on the dealer lot ("Mobile Auto Insights," Greystripe Inc., April 2011).

"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," Hoke said. AskAuto uses patent-pending technology to do this, Hoke explained. The messages are customizable and can provide members guidance on the best loan available from their credit union.

The technology uses CUNA Mutual's product, which is employed by more than 500 credit unions nationwide.

The application system leverages CUNA Mutual'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 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 through 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, Hoke said.

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