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Wearable Banking Is Taking Off With The UK’s Young Consumers

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Nearly half of 18-30 year olds want to use their wearables to access banking services, report finds

The incredible growth in popularity of devices such as the Apple Watch is making banking with wearables increasingly common, especially for so-called ‘millennials’, new data has shown.

A report from app maker Intelligent Environments surveying 2,000 consumers in the UK found that almost half (46 percent) of 18-30 year olds have used banking services on a wearable device, with a similar number (47 percent) say they would like their bank to launch a wearable banking app.

More than half (52 percent) of this age group also expressed a desire to manage their finances using wearable devices. Wearable banking was also revealed to be popular among those aged 31-40, 46 percent of whom expressed a desire to use it.

Potential

smartwatchPerhaps unsurprisingly, London was the most active region for utilising wearable banking technology, where 49 percent of consumers reported having used their banks’ wearable-optimised apps, with Northern Ireland the second most active region at 38 per cent and Yorkshire third at 33 percent.

“It’s fantastic to see that wearable banking is beginning to achieve its potential,” said David Webber, managing director of Intelligent Environments.

“This is an important and rapidly evolving segment, and as our research shows is crucial to engaging millennials. The 18-30 year old demographic is an important one for banks looking to establish a long-lasting customer relationship. 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.”

This growth in devices has led to a great opportunity for banking companies to engage with new customers, as over half (51 percent) of 18-30 year olds say they have become more interested in digital banking because of wearable technology.

The growth of wearables is only set to increase as more and more consumers flock to the devices, with a recent report from analyst firm IDC estimating that 45.7m wearable devices will be sold this year, up 133.4 percent from last year’s figure.

The rise is only set to continue over the next few years, with IDC estimating 126.1m units will be sold in 2019.

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