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The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a diversified financial services group of companies and subsidiaries offering banking, investing, and insurance to people and families who serve, or served, in the United States military. At the end of 2016, there were 11.9 million members.
USAA was founded in 1922, when 25 US Army officers decided to insure each other’s vehicles as a reaction to being deemed too high-risk to be insured by general US insurers. Roll forwards almost 100 years and the mission of the association is to facilitate the financial security of its members, associates, and their families through the provision of a full range of highly competitive financial products and services; in so doing, USAA seeks to be the provider of choice for the military community.
In 2017, USAA established an innovation lab based in Austin, Texas – a members-only design lab which provides USAA account holders with the opportunity to engage and provide feedback on new innovations, concepts and exclusive pilots.
The lab, which is now home to over 120 USAA employees, showcases some of the company’s most recent innovations and awards. Members have the opportunity to enroll in pilot programs, providing them early access to new features, products, services and tools being developed by USAA.
The following year, the Group announced it has begun piloting an augmented reality application aiming to simplify the car-purchasing process for consumers.
In 2019, the insurer announced a strategic tie-up with State Farm at the Dig | In conference that will see the pair test blockchain technology as they seek to automate insurance claims at the subrogation stage.
Later that same year, in September, USAA announced it had partnered with Google Cloud on a car damage estimating tool, in the hopes that the company can automate simple claims and move human adjusters to more complicated cases. The tool enables users to upload their own pictures of their car when they want to make a claim. Google then uses computer vision and data analytics to analyse the damage, the results of which are sent to Mitchel International, which can estimate repairs. From there, USAA can check for final adjustments, if required.