Westpac confirmed today that it has wearable technology – smartwatches and Google Glass – in development for banking applications.
Now, this is great. The advances in banking conveniences are, in my view, some of the greatest improvements to life that the digital age has visited on us. The time – and frustrations – saved by the conveniences of online banking are enormous. No more crowded, smelly branches.
But as in most lines of business, the precise benefits for customers from wearable technology are unclear at the moment. But here’s one scenario proffered by Westpac, via the SMH:
“By the end of this year our customers will be able to walk into a shop wearing their Google Glasses, see something they like and instantly check their bank balance which will be displayed in their peripheral vision – that’s pretty cool,” Westpac NZ chief digital officer Simon Pomeroy said.
Pretty cool? Is it?
Seeing something in a store and using your glasses to identify the item and find it cheaper online – now that’s something you could use.
The digital improvements – and the investments in innovation – that banks have delivered for customer service have been excellent, and experiments like this are important first steps. But somehow I don’t think we’re quite there yet.