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Tuesday, 01 October 2013 11:34

Watch out for St George

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Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch

Banks have become known for quickly adopting new technology, and St George Bank is continuing the trend with a set of prototypes for smartwatch applications.

CIO Dhiren Kulkarni and head of mobile Travis Tyler told The Australian Financial Review the bank was "investigating how the new internet-connected wristwatches would be useful to its customers, with account monitoring services most likely the first to eventuate ahead of small payments."

Banks in Australia have led the way worldwide in terms of smartphone innovation, as customers increasingly forgo the local branch for their iPhone instead.

“We had a Pebble smartwatch come in, Samsung’s watch as well; they will be Bluetooth payments rather than through NFC [near field communication] chips,” Kulkarni told the newspaper.

“We do have a working prototype currently, but it is a question of how we interact and then functionally what we want to be able to do on them.

“We don’t want to do innovation for the sake of doing innovation; we want to do it where it matters to the customer.”

Meanwhile Tyler also said he expected micro payments similar to current tap-and-go transactions would also be a "logical next step" for smartwatch functionality.

“It is not about forcing banking on people, but working out how we can seamlessly complement the en­vironment and provide services at the right time and in the right context,” he told the AFR.

“MoneyMeter has been a perfect example of that: we wanted to make it easier to check [your account] balance, and the smartwatch plays very much into that space. I don’t have to take my phone out – I just check my watch to see if I can afford a particular purchase at the moment.”

For more, check out the St George MoneyMeter website here.
https://www.stgeorge.com.au/online-services/mobile-banking/mobile-apps/moneymeter


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