What Questions Should I Ask USAA At Digital MilEx?

[Nords note:  if you’re finding this post via a search engine, here’s the followup post with USAA’s responses:
USAA Answers Your Insurance And Financial Questions]

It’s almost that time of year again! The San Antonio summer is cooling off (a little) and on 19-20 September I’ll be USAA’s guest at Digital Military Experience 2017.

But first, let’s get the blogger disclaimer out of the way.

For those who haven’t read about this before, the Federal Trade Commission wants you to know (“first, foremost, and at the front of the post”) that I’m USAA’s sponsored guest. The FTC worries that you won’t be able to figure it out if they didn’t make us explain it.

In financial terms, that means 2-3 nights at a hotel with a handful of free meals. There will probably be an awesome swag bag of interesting USAA information and social-media tools. It also means that (once again) I’ll be testing the capacity of their bottomless coffee pot.

The owner of The-Military-Guide also earns revenue from the USAA advertising and special offers that you see on the site. Those ads keep the lights on and give me a place to publish answers to reader questions.

Image of Doug Nordman and J J Montanaro with Colleen McAdams at USAA's DigitalMilEx.

Doug, JJ, and Colleen talking finances last year

In practical terms, it means that I’ll spend two days in real life among a few dozen people with whom I spend the rest of the year chatting over the Internet. At Digital MilEx, USAA’s Communications team also gives the USAA executives some real-world interview experience by throwing them into a roomful of hypercaffeinated bloggers (with bandwidth) for brutally honest Q&A.

Image of Doug Nordman testing a virtual-reality smartphone app on a headset at USAA's Digital MilEx conference in 2016. | The-Military-Guide.com

USAA’s next virtual-reality app?

We might also get to test-drive a few cool products.  But I digress.

The Q&A is where you guys come in.

Questions we’ve asked USAA before

Over the last year, I’ve posted about a number of USAA initiatives and issues. If you haven’t read them yet, then here’s the links to the latest on auto insurance, life insurance, and other programs:

What questions should we ask USAA next?

Now I’d like to ask USAA about your questions and issues. Here’s an example from last year’s Digital MilEx.

If you were sitting in USAA’s conference room all day with their Communications staff and a rotating agenda of program managers and other execs… then what would you ask them?

What issues or problems have you had with insurance, investments, banking, or real estate?

What would you like to see them do differently?

USAA members are already considered “members for life”, but what would cause you to change your mind about that?

What new services or products are you seeking?

Feel free to post your commentary below, but you can also send me a private message via the site’s “Contact me” box or e-mail NordsNords at Gmail.

I’ll add your question to my (growing) list and ask the right people at USAA. I’ll keep your name out of it, and I’ll let you know who you can follow up with at USAA.

How’s your online security?

Image of a smartphone displaying the USAA logo. | The-Military-Guide.com

Check your mobile device’s security.

By the way, are you logging in to your USAA mobile app with “just” your four-digit PIN and your smartphone? You might want to change that practice, and I’m pretty sure USAA’s security division is already taking a hard look at it.

Last month Christine at Her Money Moves shared her experience with a hacked cell phone (which happened to also have the USAA app on it). The crooks persuaded her cell phone service provider to port her phone number over to their SIM, and then they had the opportunity to guess her PIN for her USAA app. Once they were into the app, they drained her checking & savings accounts and tried to use her credit cards. They never actually had her phone, her checkbook, or her credit cards– but they certainly did a lot of damage without them.

USAA stopped the credit-card transactions and restored her funds, of course, but let’s just say that it was a very long evening at the end of a weekend.

Let me be clear: her USAA app was not cracked by a hacker. Instead the crooks finessed the whole theft with smooth social engineering and a smart guess.

She’s boosting the security of her cell phone and changing some of the ways that she does business online. She’s still finishing the casualty procedures for dealing with ID theft, too.

I’ve taken a look at my phone & tablet. I use the regular login for the USAA app (not the “Quick Login” feature) and I have touch ID enabled as well. I’m also going to have a chat with our cell-phone service provider.

Your call to action:

After you’ve checked your mobile devices, what questions would you like me to ask USAA?

About Doug Nordman

Author of "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement" and co-author of "Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence."
This entry was posted in Insurance, USAA. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What Questions Should I Ask USAA At Digital MilEx?

  1. peter gregory says:

    Member for 30 years. They even send me a check at the end of every year, without even asking, what not to love?
    But here’s the deal. I live in eastern. Pa. far,far removed from any military centric hubs. USAA serves a niche in my greater financial universe. But its near peer competitors in the world of general military community financial management remain the NFCUs, TSPs, Vanguards, Fidelitys of the world, that covers many of the same banking and investment products they offer, but probably at a lower cost due and greater return to economies of scale. So what does USAA offer to compete for my business? Also, how does their Long Term Care insurance market look? On that matter yes I would be open to conversation. And I still do not trust mobile phones and devices to do banking or investing? Why should I trust them?

  2. Rob Elbert says:

    Own up to their mistakes, and stand by what they say. Case in point, we had a glitch in a check from a state treasury, check had already cleared but they still pulled it back after they said they wouldn’t. Screwed up our credit as we had purchased a couple of large ticket items based on the information they assured us was correct. Three days later…oops we pulled all the money back causing us to bounce.
    Why is it so expensive to get a car loan through them at a reasonable rate. Had to go through other institutions to get a loan that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg in interest.

Please leave a comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s