Looking through the Google Glass

VISHWANATH THANALAPATTI | Updated on November 27, 2014 Published on November 27, 2014


Glass apart: The question before us: Will GG simply replicate mobility banking on a wearable device or give us something new? Giuseppe Costantino/

A feel of wearable devices that change the way you do your banking

The next big thing in mobility devices that can change the dynamics of the banking sector is the Google Glass (let us call it GG). The GG has undeniably expanded the horizon of thought for banks, as well as other businesses.

This innovation in technology brings up interesting options for customer engagement and has the potential to disrupt engagement to an inspirational level. The GG (or wearables) is business-centric and will definitely improve productivity.

The question before us is: Will GG simply replicate mobility banking on a wearable device? Not in my opinion.

And those wanting to know what makes it a disruptor can find the answer at it-does/. The three themes of GG – Be Active, Explore Your World and Live Lighter say it all.

Now, if banking services were to be embedded into each of these themes, look at the dimensions that emerge.

One can do active banking without disengagement, explore the world with the bank in tow and live a lighter (more pleasurable) banking experience.

The wearables market is growing rapidly and will revolutionise lifestyle.

Banks will have to be part of this lifestyle to stay relevant to customers. Quoting from PRNewswire “The global wearable computing market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.4 per cent from around $5 billion forecast for 2013 to $9.2 billion in 2014 and more than $30.2 billion forecast for 2018.” The numbers are in black and white and there’s no ignoring them.

The following use cases of proactive engagement illustrate the power of GG in retail banking.

However, some of these will need apps to leverage GG’s native functionality.

A case for marketing

John D is a busy person. He has to accomplish a few tasks in his to-do list for the day. One is to open a deposit account that pays higher interest. He is unhappy with the rate of interest paid by his current bank on his deposit account.

A bank salesperson walks around a mall and gets into a conversation with John D, a prospect. The talk moves to banking products. At a strategic point, the salesperson offers John a GG to scan products; together, they co-browse, match products to needs, discuss some more and close the sale. John issues voice instructions to transfer money to his new deposit account.

One can easily see that this approach is more effective than sending unsolicited alerts or mailing a portfolio of brochures. GG offers the right mix of human contact and technology to personalise experience.


Sheila S has registered for an undergrad course at a university. She is planning on taking a student loan for financing her studies. She does not know much about students’ loan. She will take a decision once she understands how it works. She is planning on talking to her Bank Manager later in the week. Sheila S is browsing through the day’s news on her GG. Spotting an advertisement for a student loan from one of the local banks, she launches the gamification app and plays around. As she games, she has the option of entering into a video/audio conversation to enhance the engagement with the bank’s advisor. The cool gaming app has won the bank a new customer.

In general, a bank can develop gamification apps for products, which are far more engaging than the boring tools and calculators that one sees today.

Financial Planning

Mike H has, for long, postponed his investment planning. He discussed this with his friend over dinner. He decides on setting the plan and completing his investment in the next two days.

Mike H is in his country retreat relaxing by the poolside. He just heard about his friend’s financial planning. His GG gives him the power of anytime, anywhere, access to the bank’s financial planning app. Next, he needs professional advice to organise his investment portfolio. Mike converses with the bank’s financial advisor using the audio/video trigger and selects a set of products from the catalogue and gets his portfolio in place.

Once done, he sits back and relaxes.

The HNI Customer

PC plans his holidays perfectly. His second passion is golf that takes him to the best courses around the globe. His first passion remains investments. He always prides himself on the fact that his portfolio beats the index. PC, (a premium high net worth customer) is active and exploring the world. He reads on his GG that the stock market has unexpectedly turned volatile. He then checks his investment portfolio and decides to quickly restructure it.

PC gets into a conference with his relationship manager at that very instant and instructs him on the change. Using GG, they collaborate and co-browse new portfolios and simulate returns. Finally, they arrive at an optimised portfolio. Once done, PC resumes his explorations without interruptions.

This is the first of a two-part series on the power of GG in retail banking

Vishwanath Thanalapatti, Lead Product Manager, Infosys Finacle.

Published on November 27, 2014
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