Finance Tries on
“Companies that want to be perceived as digital leaders in
the financial world should consider developing these apps
now if they want to stay ahead of competitors.”
Angela McIntyre, Gartner, Santa Clara, California, USA
Wearable technology has the potential to radically reshape the customer service experience in the ;nance sector. To do so, however, projects
developing the disruptive technology ;rst must maneuver past a host of
challenges, including heightened security risks, slow customer adoption
and complex governance in this highly regulated industry.
More than 17 million wearable devices are expected to ship in 2014,
and the rate of sales likely will climb as costs go down. ;is means
demand for wearable banking applications could shoot up very quickly,
says Brad Leimer, digital strategist for Mechanics Bank in Walnut Creek,
California, USA. “If institutions want to pivot to wearables in the future, it
should be on their project roadmap today.”
Banking apps for wearables, which allow customers to check their
account balances, track stock market quotes and ;nd automated teller
machines, are already available. More are on the way—even though
few people actually own wearable devices today, says Angela McIntyre,
research director, Gartner, Santa Clara, California, USA.
“It’s not too soon for ;nancial companies to make sure alerts sent to
smartphones can also be seen on wearable devices,” she says. “Companies
that want to be perceived as digital leaders in the ;nancial world should consider developing these apps now if they want to stay ahead of competitors.”
For the organizations spearheading initiatives in this nascent technology, staying ahead of the curve doesn’t necessarily mean being the ;rst to
market—but instead thoroughly testing the products and ensuring their
security before they’re released.
A limited, pilot-based approach to ;nancial apps for wearables allows
institutions to experiment with innovative o;erings while still maintaining high levels of security—which is the riskiest and most critical part of
these projects, Mr. Leimer says. Testing the apps extensively in-house,
and starting with low-risk applications that don’t involve ;nancial transactions, allows project teams to perfect the product without risking a lot
of time, money or security.