SAN FRANCISCO — Test driving a new car can be fun. Dealing with leasing paperwork not so much.

Just as technology has made everything from toilet paper delivery to ride hailing app-tastically easy, it now promises to transform the once onerous dealership slog with a few swipes of a touchscreen.

Visa and DocuSign are expected to announced a prototype app Monday at Money20/20, a payments industry conference in Las Vegas, that would allow consumers to walk into a dealership, ask for a car ordered up on an automaker’s website, and drive away after the driver fingertip-signs documents that appear on an in-dash screen. In this scenario, the car salesman could be relegated to simply forking over the keys.

USA TODAY demo-leased a new car using the technology. If one eliminates the selection process of the vehicle itself — color, interior features, etc. — the entire procedure took no more than three minutes, though likely more if we had spent time reading the fine print.

Using an iPad that stood in for a car’s infotainment screen, DocuSign product lead Ron Hirson showed how a combination of digital taps and finger signatures is all it takes to select a lease payment plan (based on annual mileage), choose an insurance carrier (three companies’ options were offered) and authorize the car to pay tolls and other in-car expenses.

“If you think about it, we won’t even need repo men any more (to repossess a car for non-payment), because the car could effectively repo itself,” jokes Jim McCarthy, Visa’s executive vice president for innovation and strategic partnerships. “We’re moving into a bold new era of connectedness between commerce and payments, where reality is finally catching up with the opportunity of the Internet.”

CAR-SIZED WALLET

Engineers with  Visa Innovation Labs and DocuSign Labs came up with a system that effectively turns the automobile into an extension of its owner’s wallet.  By combining DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform and eSignature solution with Visa’s secure payment tech, the car’s identity is then registered on the Bitcoin Blockchain, the secure ledger database used by the alternative currency platform to record transactions over broadly-distributed computer networks.

Once connected, a vehicle can be set up to automatically make payments for a range of in-car charges, including goods and services. Last March at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Visa joined Pizza Hut and Accenture in introducing prototype tech that would allow drivers to order pizza from their cars and, thanks to in-car beacons, have the pizza handed to them by Pizza Hut employees just as they drove up.

Making such tech real is likely more a matter of when than if, as the Internet of Things wave continues to grow. Analysts anticipate there being as many as 50 million Web-connected items — from doorbells to cameras — by 2020, with 250 million of them being automobiles.

Big strides already have been made in terms of connecting cars to the world outside them. Apple and Google have ported over their respective smartphone interfaces into dashboards by way of CarPlay and Android Auto, respectively. Electric automaker Tesla already has a DocuSign-enabled feature that allows buyers to sign for their car on its massive 17-inch horizontal touchscreen. And with Google and much-rumored Apple now joining existing automakers in actually manufacturing the car of the future, little doubt remains that automobiles will soon truly become smartphones on four wheels.

Technology is already so sophisticated on both the touchscreen hardware and payments software fronts that it took Visa and DocuSign engineers just six weeks to hatch this latest prototype, which in theory could go live if an automaker with the correct in-car architecture were interested.

“Much like Visa put its card into the (Apple) Watch (providing on-wrist Apple Pay capability), this is just putting your card into your car,” says DocuSign’s Hirson. “The vehicle becomes a smart asset that offers two-way communication that can benefit consumers.”

Hirson points to a screen that shows my fake leased car six months into my ownership cycle, noting how a small square has popped up. It’s a note from my insurance company saying because I’ve driven less than my anticipated mileage, I’m getting a slight discount that month. Similar notes could appear asking me to OK a payment to re-up my vehicle registration or pay a monthly parking fee, or ask if I’d like a new music service or roadside assistance package.

And because the car’s mechanical condition could be shared with relevant service providers, “the guy at the dealership will know everything about your car and what it needs before you drive up,” says Hirson. “Or maybe the oil change shops in your neighborhood will start a reverse auction to get your business, and when you do pick a place you won’t have to pull out your wallet to pay.”

The big bonus, however, is simply avoiding the often trying experience many buyers have at dealerships, places that don’t have the level of price and transaction transparency that the Web has trained consumers to expect.

“Being able to configure a car at home, sign for it as you take the driver’s seat and then just drive away all means you don’t have to sit in that office with the guy in the slick suit and hear them tell you about how great the undercarriage spray option is,” Hirson says with a laugh. “That’s got to be worth something.”

Follow USA TODAY tech reporter Marco della Cava on Twitter @marcodellacava.

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