Will Smartwatches Edge Out Phone Banking?
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Just when we thought our phones killed the watch market, smartwatches kicked in. And the popularity of these watches is increasing by the day.
In fact, according to Allied Market Research, the global smartwatch market has a potential to reach $32.9 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 67.6% during 2014 – 2020.
Though the Indian smart watch market is at a nascent stage but the domestic banks do not want to miss out of this trend and hence, some of the private and PSU banks have ventured into watch banking.
Watch banking works just like mobile banking and you can access and avail the banking products and services through your smartwatch. Following are the few banks that allow your watch to be your financial assistant:
HDFC started its watch banking facility way back in 2015 but the feature is limited to Apple’s smartwatch users.
Apart from accessing information on your account, with this feature the bank allows you to complete a mobile or DTH recharge, request for account statement, and help you locate nearest retail outlet. You also get access to the bank’s notifications.
HDFC claims that its watch banking feature is as secured as the bank’s mobile banking application.
ICICI Bank smartwatch application, called iWear, was introduced the same year as HDFC’s. It can be downloaded via Google Playstore, Apple Store or Samsung Gear Manager. The application supports Android 4.3 and generations above that. In case of Apple watches, the application supports iOS 8 and higher editions.
Post an OTP-based registration, users can access their accounts and view previous transactions. Additionally, Apple users can also use the application to pay their bills and avail special bank offers.
State Bank of India (SBI)
Early last year, SBI launched ‘SBI Wear’ that enabled smart devices banking for Android and iOS-based smartwatches.
The application allows you to read your account balance and take out mini statements. It sends you transactional alerts and notifications. Its intuitive interface enables an instant mobile top-up, bill payments and fund transfers.
Additionally, the bank also permits you to send a cheque-book request via SBI Wear.
In a recent strategic announcement with Yes Bank, Samsung India said it would support credit cards on Samsung Pay. Though Samsung Pay is accessible to limited devices, but people who own Samsung Gear 3 Smartwatches can also avail these services.
The Korean brand uses magnetic secure transmission technology in its devices that allow customers to make offline payment without physically using the credit/debit card.
Furthermore, according to sources, the feature can also be availed by SBI, ICICI and HDFC Bank customers.
Deutsche Bank allows its customer to use watch banking services through ‘Meine Bank’ application.
Apart from the usual financial and transactional overviews, the application has a financial planner feature that allows users to automatically allocate last three months’ expenses to segments like household, living or travel.
However, the service is also limited to bank’s home country i.e Germany. But you never know, considering the popularity of smartwatches, Deutsche Bank may just introduce this feature to the Indian market.