The Apple Watch release could be the shot that sets smartwatch adoption off to the races. This opens a brief window for retailers, banking, payments and wallet providers to move first in wearables. The opportunity is great: wearables owners today are gold-standard customers: higher income, younger, and extremely engaged in digital banking, payments, shopping, and advertisements. However, smartwatches are unique devices, designed for lightning-fast, contextual, and personalized interactions. To assist in developing for Apple Pay and other smartwatches, this report analyzes the first offerings in wearable banking and payments, interprets Apple’s developer guidelines from a banking and payments lens, and exposes the key features wearables owners crave. The contents of this report are intended to provide readers with information to determine the wearables opportunity and ultimately design wearables products that exceed user expectations.

Primary Questions:

  • How many consumers are expected to own Apple Watch by 2016?
  • How are wearables owners unique in banking, payments, mobile wallets and technology ownership levels and behaviors?
  • How does the experience on Apple Watch and other smartwatches differ from that on smartphones?
  • How will Apple Watch be used for banking and payments today and near future?
  • What steps should financial institutions take today to prepare for banking on Apple Watch and other wearables?

Companies Mentioned: 

Apple Google Samsung
Bluetooth Motorola  
Citibank Moven  


  • A random‐sample panel of 8,552 consumers in November 2014. 
  • A random‐sample panel of 3,225 consumers in July 2014.