Mobile Commerce

Banks Eye IoT And Wearable Tech Apps

Banks and other transaction-focused companies are increasing their efforts to bring apps to the Apple Watch and other wearable technology – with an eye on creating a seamless shopping, payment and even budgeting experience for consumers via the Internet.

The banking innovations may not stop at wearable wrist gadgets, American Banker reported yesterday (May 5).

FIS, the largest vendor of technology to banks, has been testing automobile based banking in San Francisco. A spokesman gave an example to the publication, stating that at a gas station “the car is recognized and the pump is turned on and authorized.” Further completing the portrait of the auto as a wallet, the consulting firm Accenture posits the day when banks will send alerts on needed repair work, glean quotes from mechanics and even set up appointments.

Driven in part by the Internet of Things trend, Royal Bank of Canada and MasterCard are working with Bionym, maker of a wristband that authenticates consumers via biometrics, according to American Banker. A bit closer to present-day usage, USAA recently updated mobile app features market rates for homebuyers and renters and conveys that info on the screen.

Stessa Cohen, a research director at Gartner, sees banks as digital advisors.

“Where you have shopping, you have payments,” she told American Banker, and noted that account balance checks and potentially payments should naturally find their way to wearable technology.

Yet there may be stumbling blocks to the rush to interconnectivity, especially where financial data is concerned, notes the article. Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group found 82 percent of consumers would not purchase a wearable device.

Nonetheless, tech-savvier and younger users may welcome technology as a financial-planning-tool-on-the-go. Citi has launched an Apple Watch app that offers color-coded visuals of how close users are to their credit limits. Digital Insight, part of ATM maker NCR, is piloting an Android Wear app for Wright-Patt Credit Union members. DI has flashing common banking activities for a set time or day.

“We’re at the beginning of the journey,” said Marshall Yuan, senior product manager at DI Labs, the vendor’s innovation unit.

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