Millennials keen to use wearable banking

New research confirms that wearable devices are rapidly growing in popularity, especially among millennials.

Financial technology firm Intelligent Environments found that almost half (46%) of 18 to 30-year-olds surveyed have used a smartwatch to deal with money matters, and 52% expressed a desire to manage their finances via wearable devices.

And it’s not just for the under-30s: 46% of those aged 31-40 also expressed a desire to use wearable banking.

The findings come six months after the launch of the upgraded Apple Watch and its associated Watch OS 2 software platform, which allows for greater functionality. Soon after Apple introduced the device in April this year, high street banks including NatWest, Nationwide and Barclays launched dedicated apps designed for the device.

Commenting on the research, Intelligent Environments said it shows that, for those banks that have yet to launch wearable-enabled banking apps, there is a huge opportunity to engage new customers.

More than half (51%) of the 18 to 30-year-olds surveyed (2,000) said they would be more interested in digital banking because of wearable technology and 47% would like their bank to launch a wearable banking app. These are key target customers for retail banks.

“The 18 to 30-year-old demographic is an important one for banks looking to establish a long-lasting customer relationship,” explained David Webber, managing director of Intelligent Environments. “With almost half of this age bracket calling for their banks to launch apps designed for wearable banking, banks would benefit hugely from improving their digital banking offering.”

Of course, that digital offering also includes a bank’s online and mobile service — and mobile is a key part of the service for today’s banking customers. A recent report by Forrester Research said that, with more and more customers turning to mobile banking, mobile is set to displace online banking for everyday tasks.

It’s further proof that banks need to prioritise their digital offerings across the board, to meet the expectations of today’s connected consumers.

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