I‘ve said it many times before – I’m a big fan of USAA. They run a top notch financial institution and they have the best customer service I’ve ever run across. In addition to running a tight ship, USAA gets best in class awards for their innovative products. USAA constantly pushes the boundaries of what banks and other financial institutions can do, and they constantly set new standards in the industry. A prime example of this is the ability for customers to scan a check to deposit it (since copied by several other financial institutions, but it took them months to catch up). Other examples include USAA Auto Circle and USAA Home Circle.
And USAA has done it again.
USAA Introduces an iPad Application
Sure, you say. Anyone can make an iPad application. Simply take your iPhone app and make it bigger. And you’re right. Anyone can do that. But USAA chose not to do that, and instead created an iPad app from the ground up.
USAA iPad Features
The USAA iPad app gives users access to a full service banking application. From the interface, users can view and access their bank accounts, investment portfolio, and insurance policies which are held with the company. You can transfer money to various accounts, use your online bill pay to pay bills, make investments, or set up a new insurance policy with a couple taps of your fingers. You can even access real-time stock quotes and make trades, which is a nice feature if you are an active investor.
The USAA iPad app also features an information section which features articles, stories, and interviews with USAA financial planners. The topics cover a wide variety of topics, from investing to insurance, to buying a house. Other articles can help you manage debt, improve your credit score and help you decide how to handle your next major life event, such as planning your life insurance needs, buying a house, planning for retirement, etc. The articles are updated frequently, so you will always have new information available at your fingertips.
USAA iPad App Interface
Like the USAA website, you will need to login through the secure connection, then enter your PIN before you can access any accounts or make any financial transactions or change any insurance policies.
The above screenshot is an example of how you can see your various USAA accounts in one place – from saving and checking accounts to investments to insurance policies. Each folder (which looks like a leather bound binder) represents a different account, and you simply need to click on the folder to access the account and begin your banking activities. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. The screen can be read from a vertical or horizontal position and the way you hold it will determine the amount of information you will be able to see (just try it out; it’s a nice feature). Overall, the app is beautifully designed and easy to use – exactly what anyone would want.
Improvements I would like to see with the USAA iPad App
The only issue I had from a technical perspective was when I was reading an article and wanted to change from a horizontal to a vertical reading position (and vice versa). In a couple instances, changing the positions of the screen caused the article to jump to a different page in the article – in this instance, it was from page 7 to 11, so that was a big difference. It happened a few times in a row, so it may just be a bug that needs to be worked out by the tech team.
The other thing I would improve is the ability to change auto insurance policies through the app For example, my wife and I just relocated to a new state. I logged into the app and accessed my auto policies with the intent to try and move them to the new location. Unfortunately, I could apply for a new auto policy, but I couldn’t move one. I decided against inputting my updated address, VINs for two vehicles, and the other requested information and instead handled the transaction over the phone, which only took a few minutes since the USAA customer service rep only had to change my location and didn’t need to add much else. (there could be a reason for this that I am not aware, such as state laws or other insurance regulations; I’m not an expert in the insurance industry).
Verdict – The USAA iPad Application is a Win
If you are a USAA customer and you have an iPad, then I highly recommend downloading this app. It’s free and incredibly beautiful, easy to use, and most importantly, useful.
*Disclaimer: USAA.com was kind enough to provide me with an Apple iPad to use for 30 days in order to review the USAA iPad App, on the condition that the review be my honest opinion of the service – good, bad, or indifferent, and that the iPad be returned after the review period. We were not compensated in any way for this review.