Financial Services and Wearable Tech: “Moven” in the Right Direction

Sean McDermott by on Jan 08, 2015

smartwatch_financeMoven, a major player in the Fintech banking and personal finance management (PFM) space, started off the new year with a bang by announcing the launch of its first smartwatch-optimized app. Specifically designed for Motorola’s Moto 360 and Samsung Gear smartwatches, the app clearly reflects the firm’s commitment to PFM and incorporates several best practices that Corporate Insight identified in a November 2014 blog post. At the time, we noted that the smartwatch lends itself perfectly to the delivery of time-sensitive alerts and could theoretically be a huge boon to PFM. Sure enough, Moven’s smartwatch app puts theory into practice, using the delivery of real-time spending notifications to bolster its PFM services.

As the video demonstrates, the app is explicitly designed to help clients adhere to their customized financial budget. Whenever a client makes a purchase using their Moven debit card, their smartwatch will receive an instant alert displaying the amount spent and the vendor’s details. As Moven CEO Brett King notes in an interview with American Banker, this allows the firm to take PFM to another level by tracking real-time behavior and sending contextually-relevant alerts.

Along with the basic purchase details, the notifications also display a useful color-coded spending meter at the top of the screen to help clients adhere to their customized monthly budget. With just a glance, clients can easily see if they are staying within their budget or if their spending is “in the red.” Such intelligent visualizations maximize the amount of information conveyed on the wearable devices’ screens without overwhelming the user. This clever design may prove critical to the app’s acceptance, as Corporate Insight believes that a key differentiator between future smartwatch apps that succeed and fail will be the efficient use of very limited screen space.

Movens_Spending_Meter Moven’s Spending Meter

 Perhaps the most meaningful takeaway from this announcement is the fact that Moven’s partners plan to monitor the adoption and performance of the Moven smartwatch app and eventually launch their own versions. TD Bank is one of the firm’s largest partners; the entry of major financial services firms into the wearable tech market may be coming sooner rather than later. With more and more firms dabbling in wearables and the launch of the Apple Watch fast approaching, we anticipate that Moven’s smartwatch app is the first of many to come from the financial services industry.