Financial services firms have an opportunity to expand mobile payments and account management capabilities thanks to growth in wearable devices.
Wearable devices may be in their early stage of adoption, but they are set to grow. According to market research firm International Data Corp., worldwide shipments of wearable devices are targeted to reach 213.6 million units in 2020. That compares to 101.9 million units at the end of 2016. What’s more, last year, Juniper Research foretasted the number of banking apps people will access via a smartwatch will be higher than 100 million by 2020.
“We expect wearables to be a part of the future of banking, as it will fuse with mobile banking and increase user interactivity. It will allow customers to get a quick glance on the go and get the information they need instantaneously,” George Flouros, vice president for financial services at NCR India, Middle East and Africa region, said in an interview with Gulf News. Flouros said users want to interact with financial institutions through an array of different devices, and they want to be able to do it as quickly and intuitively as possible.
While Flouros said wearable banking won’t be attractive to everyone, there will be enough consumers who want to and will use it. “Mobile banking is widely adopted globally. We have invested heavily in an ecosystem of solutions in the past few years. We have made a number of acquisitions in the past two years in over $2 billion to have the technology and the platform to enable us to assist financial institutions to integrate solutions around these devices as they evolve,” Flouros went on to say in the report.
Flouros pointed to Digital Insight, an NCR company that was one of the early players in the mobile internet, as a company that is making apps for wearable devices in the U.S. What’s more, he said NCR has already implemented wearable banking in 80 U.S.-based institutions.