Banking Apps Accessed via Smartwatches to Exceed 100m by 2020

Apple Pay Apple WatchA new study from Juniper Research finds that the global number of banking apps accessed via smartwatches will reach the 10 million mark in 2017, rising to more than 100 million by 2020.

The research found 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 launched apps for the wrist, while the launch of Apple Watch in April 2015 further accelerated the demand for wearable banking apps.

However, the new research, Worldwide Digital Banking: Mobile, Online & Wearable 2015-2020, notes that while wearable based banking information services has emerged as a key trend, it is perceived by many as a gimmick at present.

Juniper believes that while wearables, including smartwatches and glasses, are not suited for conducting complicated financial instructions, wrist based wearables will become a key device for multi-factor authentication – for banking transaction approval in the future.

“Digital banking has experienced a substantial progression towards personalised computing. We do believe that, keeping pace with technology evolution, wearable banking will witness a faster adoption rate than mobile banking especially amongst millennials”, added research author Nitin Bhas.

The research also observed that although 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 believes 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.

Other key findings include:

  • Juniper estimates that the global mobile banking user base will reach 2 billion by 2020, representing 37% of the global adult population.
  • SMS based push banking services are on the decline with banks noting a decline in average number of messages sent to mobile banking users.

The whitepaper, ‘Futureproofing Digital Banking’, is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full research.

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