Wells Fargo steps into Oculus Rift at new digital lab

Wells Fargo steps into Oculus Rift at new digital lab

Wells Fargo has established a digital lab to test the use of bleeding edge technologies such as smart wearables and virtual reality headsets in banking.

The San Francisco-based lab is intended as a test-bed, where staff and customers can play around with new tech innovations - from the use of Oculus Rift VR headsets for simulating the bank branch experience, to the more pragmatic application of mobile devices to expedite transactions.

Miranda Hill, Wells Fargo digital labs manager, points to recent research among young millennials which indicates that 73% would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Square than from their bank because they say they believe innovation will come from outside the industry.

"Given these changing perceptions, we have a great opportunity to envision new experiences for our customers," she says, reeling off a list of potential use cases, from checking account balances on a smart watch through the integration of Google Glass with PFM tools to scan price tags when shopping to determine if your budget can support a purchase.

Among the nearer-term possibilities are the roll-out of mobile video chatting services and transaction 'pre-staging' via the handset for drive-in teller lines, she says.

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