Wearables: Generating the Next Wave of Personal Finance Experiences


Beyond tap and pay — how “wearables” could revolutionize financial services interactions with customers.

Research from Mercator Advisory Group explores potential of wearable personal computing devices for useful financial services interactions with customers.


Published on: November 3, 2015
Author: Nikhil Joseph
Alternate Point of Contact: Amy Dunckelmann

Wearable devices such as Fitbit and Apple Watch represent the next wave of personal computing and are likely to have as great an impact as their predecessors, the smartphone and PC. Banks and other financial services providers have the opportunity to create experiences unique to the wearables platform and reestablish themselves as the dashboard of their customers’ ever more complex financial lives.

In a research note, Wearables: Generating the Next Wave of Personal Finance Experiences, Mercator Advisory Group uses the Apple Watch as a lens to identify key vectors that will determine the success of any wearable form factor, whether it’s worn on the wrist, eyes, or somewhere else. Mercator identifies two areas—personal financial management and omnichannel commerce—in which wearables have the potential to surpass smartphones in usefulness.

“It is undeniable that wearables as a class of personal computing devices are better suited to certain tasks than smartphones are—they are less intrusive and can enhance real-world interactions by continuously computing in the background,” comments Nikhil Joseph, Emerging Technologies Analyst at the Mercator Advisory Group and author of the note.

The research note contains 14 pages and 6 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this research note include: Airbnb, American Express, Apple, Capital One, Discover, Fitbit, Google, Mint, Postmates, Uber, UrbanSitter, and Wallaby Financial.


Highlights of the research note include:


  • Overview of the successive waves of personal computing and the early history of wearables 
  • Analysis of key vectors that will determine success of various wearable form factors using Apple Watch as a lens 
  • Identification of two key use cases for wearable financial services and how financial institutions serve them



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