Merchant Innovation

A Banking App Using Augmented Reality?

The terms “augmented reality” and “banking app” are not typically found in the same sentence, but a New Zealand bank app made an exception. Starting in September, customers will be able to manage their accounts “by sliding their credit or debit card under their phone, which will activate the camera, and the information will appear as an overlay,” according to a report in ZDNet.

The very nature of banking apps demand high levels of security, lest a thief who grabs a shopper’s phone suddenly gets access to everything in the victim’s bank account. If there’s any app that simply cannot let its password be memorized, it’s a banking app. And yet, the combination of strong complicated passwords with the requirement that it must be fully keyed in every time certainly undermines convenience. Given that combination, would this approach likely resonate with bank customers? If so, could they boost acceptance of such approaches for other sensitive payment apps?

Westpac New Zealand chief digital officer Simon Pomeroy said that the need to increase convenience—albeit in a non-traditional way—was a key goal of the development process. “There is one thing that stands out all the time to me: it’s about friction.

Customers are telling us they want faster, easier ways to do their everyday banking and so, for us, this augmented reality brings to life in a quick, easy, visual way,” Pomeroy was quoted in the ZDNet piece. “The other thing is it really shows you how we can use data in a far more personalized and meaningful way.”

The bank launched it on iOS devices only, but has plans for an Android version by November.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.

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