by Byron Connolly

Westpac, St.George launch Apple Watch apps

Apr 24, 20152 mins
Technology Industry

Westpac and St.George customers will be the first in the world to do their mobile banking using the Apple Watch, the banks claimed on Friday.

St.George mobile banking on the Apple Watch will enable customers to view up to two account balances, and find their nearest ATM or branch.

Westpac Mobile Banking on Apple Watch will enable these customers to find an ATM or branch, receive a ‘Get Cash’ code on the watch requested using an app on an iPhone, and receive travel notifications at the airport to advise the bank of travel plans before going overseas.

Westpac’s general manager digital, Harry Wendt, said around 370,000 smart watches were purchased by Australians last year, highlighting our voracious appetite for new technology devices.

“Providing customers with a variety of ways to manage their money, whenever and however they want, is a priority for us, and the latest iteration of that is the Apple Watch,” he said.

St.George’s CIO, Dhiren Kulkarni, said the bank will be enhancing the app on an ongoing basis, and following the success of its Android smartwatch app, he was confident of strong uptake of the Apple Watch app.

In December last year, Kulkarni told CIO it was St.George’s ambition to lead the financial industry on mobile and the bank, as the ‘innovation hub’ of Westpac, had adopted a ‘mobile only’ strategy.

Around 50 per cent of the bank’s transaction are being completed on mobile devices and that number is growing, he said.

Other innovations at St.George have included a biometric log-on capability, and iBeacon technology, which provides a personalised experience when a customer enters a branch.

Westpac has also introduced fingerprint log-on for Android and iPhone, Westpac Get Cash, which enables users to withdraw cash from a Westpac ATM without a card by having a code sent to their phone.

The bank has also rolled out contactless payments, overseas travel notifications, and Global Alliance overseas alerts to notify customers of their nearest Global Alliance partner ATM.

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