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Google Glass: a new view of your bank

By now most of you will have heard of Google Glass; the wearable tech built by Google which has a camera, display, battery, touchpad and microphone built into the frame, enabling you to take photos, search, and more on the go. No, you can’t just use a smartphone to do that anymore, apparently.

On Monday Google released its Google Mirror API, enabling third-party developers to develop apps for Google Glass. While Google has announced developers cannot display ads on Google Glass, some brands have already got the ball rolling with app development. It may come as a surprise to some that one of these brands is a financial services brand. As reported by Finextra, Ukrainian bank PrivatBank, is preparing to launch a full suite of apps for Google Glass, enabling users (or, wearers) to log in to accounts and make payments.  

But should this really come as a surprise? For me, this movement reflects what some banks have tried to do in the mobile space; developing smartphone and tablet apps to help customers manage accounts on the move. Within the financial services industry, convenience is paramount, especially when it comes to retail banking. Gone are the days when customers would visit bank branches between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Today, customers expect to be able to carry out their day-to-day banking needs whenever, wherever. And banks know this, having already made great headway in the mobile banking arena, which is expected to exceed 1 billion users by 2017.

So what additional opportunities could developing apps for Google Glass offer banks? The key opportunity seems to be for virtual face-to-face interaction with bank managers; bringing the personal element of the branch banking experience to the digital world. This is something which customers of this highly sensitive market will surely value.

Over the next few weeks/months it’ll be interesting to see what app innovations brands (not just those in financial services) come up with for Google Glass.