Wearable banking catching on, new research

The number of banking apps accessed via smartwatches will reach the 10 million mark in 2017, rising to more than 100 million by 2020, with Millennials playing a key role, according to Juniper Research. It says that the use of smartwatches to access ‘push’ banking information services has been steadily gaining traction over the past 12 months. A number of global banks have unveiled apps for the wrist, while the launch of Apple Watch in April has further accelerated demand.

However, Juniper Research notes that although wearable-based banking information services has emerged as a key trend, it is perceived by many as a gimmick at present. It believes that wearables are not suited for conducting complicated financial instructions, but wrist-based tech will become a key device for multi-factor authentication - for banking transaction approval in the future.

Whilst banks have introduced a number of innovative new services in the space, such as AR (augmented reality) banking apps and a cashless money box, these generally have a short life span with the consumers. Juniper argues that banks and financial institutions will need to offer customers more targeted services, aimed at specific user needs. This will be enabled through customer analytics and Big Data management platforms from vendors such as Oracle, Infosys, Fiserv and SAP. "Keeping pace with technology evolution, wearable banking will witness a faster adoption rate than mobile banking especially amongst Millennials," says Juniper Research's Nitin Bhas.

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