Google Glass for Financial Services – Discover and Wells Fargo

by on Feb 18, 2014

With the long-rumored commercial release date for Google Glass fast approaching, we’ve recently seen an uptick in activity from financial seGoogleGlassrvices firms keen on keeping pace with the wearable technology curve. Nearly six months after Fidelity made headlines by being the first major brokerage to unveil investing-oriented Glassware (“Glassware” is the term used to describe an app explicitly designed for Google Glass), Discover and Wells Fargo have each launched their own Glassware, making the firms the first credit card issuer and bank, respectively, to make a public foray in the wearable tech space.

While Discover has made its Glassware readily available to account holders with early access to Google Glass, the Wells Fargo application remains available only for internal testers to the best of our knowledge. Discover’s Glassware currently offers Quick View and Recent Transaction cards as well as push alerts. Wells Fargo seems to be taking a similar approach, as Miranda Hill, vice president and product management manager for Wells Fargo Labs, described their Glassware to the Wall Street Journal as designed mainly to “monitor their cash flow.” In both cases, customers are provided with limited, if any, actionable functionality and instead play a passive role when interacting with their financial institution’s Glassware.

 

Discover Glassware
Discover Glassware
It’s not a surprise that these early experiments are relatively limited, as the personal finance applications of wearables are unclear at this point. Wells Fargo has reportedly seen disappointing adoption rates among the internal testers, and have acknowledged having trouble with some of the very same design difficulties – such as the small screen size – we examined after attending the Wearable Computing Conference 2014. The greatest excitement around Google Glass stems from the potential for what it can deliver in the future more so than its current offerings. The fact that Fidelity, Discover and Wells Fargo are already performing active research and development while the device remains in beta will certainly pay dividends if Glass proves to be a market disrupter.