You’ve become downright dependent on your in-car infotainment system — from finding the closest drive-through Starbucks to getting help remembering where you parked.
Now, Mercedes-Benz is upping the info component with a hefty dose of account management via its new in-vehicle app, My MBFS (short for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services).
Launched by the automaker’s financial arm, My MBFS allows drivers to take online account management on the road — making payments, receiving quotes and snagging account information with the same ease and functionality of punching up a favorite tune. The biggest plus? You don’t need to rely on your smartphone, since the app is accessible via a streamlined dashboard display and is updated regularly.
My MBFS will be added to the cloud-based infotainment systems automatically on 2013 Mercedes-Benz vehicles with COMAND Navigation and a subscription to its mbrace2 service. It launched as a smartphone app in 2009, with the mobile site following in early 2010. A year later, the company boosted its functionality for iPad users, giving drivers plenty of ways to make a payment, find a dealer, receive payoff quotes and check account information.
Those behind the wheel don’t have to worry about being tempted by a dangerous glance at the screen. The vehicle’s COMAND system automatically prevents driver distraction by shutting off the My MBFS app when the car is in motion.
My MBFS will be a welcome addition to the automakers’ cadre of mobile tools, and joins existing apps from Google, Yelp and Facebook.
This move to give customers yet another way to check accounts on the fly fits with our ever-evolving digital lifestyle. The company says more than 20 percent of its users’ online account management activities occur on mobile devices. Since the debut of the app four years ago, Mercedes-Benz Financial has received more than $150 million in payments through mobile channels.
To start managing their MBFS account in-vehicle using the app, customers need to register online at mbfs.com. A subscription to mbrace2 costs $280 per year, with another $34 per month for the Mercedes-Benz Apps feature.
And you thought a digital jukebox made your life easier.