Question

United Services Automotive Association (USAA) is one of the largest diversified financial services companies in the United States, with close to $75 billion in assets under management. One reason for its success is the use of IT to lower costs and improve customer service. USAA operates one of the most advanced and successful information systems in the world. It communicates with its widely scattered customers, mostly military officers and their families, primarily by e-mail, phone, and its website.
Early on, USAA made a strategic choice to become one of the more technology-in-tensive companies in the world. It views IT as a strategic weapon and uses it in several ways, including the following:
• When customers call from their homes, offices, or cell phones, USAA personnel greet them personally by name. Unlike many diversified companies, a customer representative can handle inquires and transactions about all of USAA’s products using a highly integrated database.
• USAA uses its extensive database to keep track of minute details, such as which auto parts are fixed most frequently. It also uses its database to find ways to reduce claims costs. For example, USAA discovered that repair shops would rather charge up to $300 to replace a windshield with punctures than to charge $40 to repair it.
USAA began offering to waive the deductible if the owners would repair the wind-shield rather than replace it.
• USAA spent extensively to develop an image-processing system that digitizes all paper documents sent in by claimants (over 25 million a year). It takes only a few key-strokes for a policy service representative to retrieve pictures of all the documents in a customer’s file. The system can sort and prioritize documents so that employees are always working on the most important and urgent tasks.
• USAA offers its customers remote deposit capture using scanning technology. It was the first U.S. bank to implement a remote deposit capture application for the iPhone. The iPhone application allows customers to take pictures of the front and back of each check and submit them electronically for deposit.
• USAA is a world leader in mobile banking. Customers can use their cell phones and other mobile devices to access and execute banking, investment, stock trading, and insurance applications such as filing claims. Customers can also use USAA’s two-way text messaging system to send messages and receive text alerts and real-time information. They can also access person-to-person payment applications as well as social networking and personal financial management tools connected to bank accounts. Over 70% of USAA’s logins are from cell phone users.

a. Why should USAA collect data on which auto parts are fixed most frequently? What could it do with this data?
b. Even though USAA offered to waive the deductible, the repair shops still managed to convince 95% of the owners to replace rather than repair their damaged windshields. How could USAA use its AIS to persuade more shop owners to repair rather than replace their windows?
c. How does the image-processing system at USAA add value to the organization?
d. How do the remote deposit capture and mobile banking system at USAA add value to the organization?
e. Do an Internet search and find out what other advancements USAA has introduced. Write a brief paragraph on each new application or other newsworthy item you find (maximum limit of three applications or items).



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  • CreatedDecember 19, 2014
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