AIB taps into wearables trend with Apple Watch app

AIB has created a banking app for the Apple Watch, joining a growing list of financial firms intent on capitalising on early interest in wearable devices.

AIB's app, which is being trialled at its innovation lab in Dublin, allows users to check their balance, find ATMs and call AIB via Apple's smartwatch, according to the Irish Independent.

According to AIB's head of direct channels, Fergal Coburn, the development project is aimed at understanding how customers want to use wearables as interest in the technology grows.

"Most leading commentators in the emerging technology space are saying that 'wearable' technology will be big in the future across all aspects of our lives from monitoring our health to guiding our purchases - for this reason AIB wants to know what our customers think of 'wearable' and more specifically how would they like to see AIB leverage 'wearable' to deliver exceptional customer experiences for them," he said.

Sales of smartwatches device have been slow to date, but many industry watchers believe that the launch of Apple's hardware will drive the market, while the Cupertino-based firm reported to have ordered the production of 10 million devices for sale this year. It is estimated that 8.3 million Brits will purchase the devices.

It is not the only financial services firm to create a smartwatch app. Citi, Fidelity and Mint announced apps as Apple officially launched its Watch last week.

In addition, financial service software provider, Misys, today launched its smartwatch app. It says its BankTime software will allow Apple Watch users to "rapidly drill down to get more details of balance, history and all transactions via the smartwatch".

Not all financial sirms looking at smartwatchs have been focused on the Apple Watch. Last year, UK building society Nationwide created an Android Wear app, while software provider Intelligent Environments has also developed an app for the Pebble smartwatch.


Matthew Finnegan

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