Notable financial institutions, technology vendors, and app developers such as Barclays, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Fiserv, and PayPal are scrambling to demonstrate that wearables such as Google Glass and smartwatches can deliver financial alerts, serve up relevant marketing offers, pay for goods and services, and give consumers greater digital control over their finances. Applying the logic behind Javelin’s Customer‐Driven Architecture™, this report examines current wearables experiments such as Google Glass, smartwatches, and fitness bands; how wearable technology is likely to evolve and why; and five conditions that must be true for wearables to become pervasive. The report also lays out how consumer demand and FI investment in wearables will unfold in three phases, outlines the short‐ and long‐term return on investment (ROI) for wearable investments, and prescribes ways financial services innovators can invest now to lead the way with smartwatches, experiments with Glass, and game‐changing wearables of the fuure that deliver hands‐free, voice‐activated control.

Primary Questions:

  • Why wearables — and why now?
  • Why will wearables become pervasive, must‐have tools?
  • How will wearables evolve beyond today’s smartwatches, Google Glass, and fitness bands?
  • Where will wearables establish beachheads first?
  • Where do financial services fit in?
  • How should financial services innovators be investing now in wearables?
  • What financial features are likely to gain traction with consumers first?

Companies Mentioned: 
Apple, AllSeen Alliance, AT&T, Barclays, Cisco, Dell, Diane von Furstenberg, Eaze, Fitbit, Fiserv, Google, Halifax Bank, Intel, LG, Lenovo, Luxottica, Lyft, Microsoft, Motorola, Open Interconnect Consortium, Panasonic, Disney, PayPal, Pebble, Qualcomm, Ringly, Samsung, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Yelp.

Press Release

Preparing for Wearables in Financial Services Beyond Smartwatches and Google Glass

  • A random‐sample panel of 3,213 consumers in September 2013. 
  • A random‐sample panel of 3,285 consumers in July 2013.