In a fiercely contested market, banks are thinking more like product creators. ING Vysya Bank, for instance, is looking at wearable technologies to take customer experience to a different level. The bank is experimenting with smart watches which has the Android Wear platform (a version of Google’s Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables).
“Using smart watches, customers can simply speak to the watch to fetch their account balance status. We are currently testing the service with a closed group of users,” states Ashwin Khorana, CTO, ING Vysya Bank. As the watch is connected to a smartphone by Bluetooth, it is necessary for the smartphone to be in close vicinity to the phone.
As ING Vysya Bank’s example shows, the goal is to make customer information available to customers everywhere and the medium or the manner in which they want to use this information.
Globally, many banks have already started piloting projects with wearables. Canada’s Bank of Novia Scotia, has launched a new app for Samsung’s Gear 2 smartwatches that allows customers to check their account balances by just swiping a finger across the screens on their wrists.
ING Vysya Bank is also experimenting with Beacons. As Beacons use Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE, they can be used to deliver proximity based, context-aware messages. “We are exploring options wherein Beacons can be used to identify a high-value customer when he walks into a branch,” states Khorana.
Beacons could also be potentially used at ATMs wherein a customer only needs to enter his PIN into the ATM, as he is already recognized by the mobile device he carries.
ING Vysya Bank has also used gamification techniques to design its mobile app. For example, the balance of the user is shown in the form of a speedometer which allows users to quickly see if he is in a green zone—sufficient balance or in a red zone (low balance).