Millennials embrace wearable banking - poll

Millennials embrace wearable banking - poll

Almost half of UK 18-30-year olds have banked on a wearable device since the launch of the Apple Watch six months ago, according to figures from Intelligent Environments.

The research among 2000 UK consumers showed a strong wellspring of support for wearable technology among the millennial generation, with 46% using the designer tech to check their finances.

The launch of the Apple Watch has raised awareness among the younger generation of the potential for wearable technology, with 46% expressing a wish for their bank to launch more wearable apps, and 52% professing a desire to manage their finances via wearable devices.

The research found that over half (51 per cent) of 18-30 year olds have been more interested in digital banking because of wearable technology, a key target demographic for retail banks across the country.

David Webber, managing director of Intelligent Environments, says: "The 18-30 year old demographic is an important one for banks looking to establish a long-lasting customer relationship. With almost half of this age bracket calling for their banks to launch apps designed for wearable banking, banks would benefit hugely from improving their digital banking offering."

Comments: (8)

James Bell
James Bell - IBM UK LTD - London 21 October, 2015, 13:201 like 1 like

This seems very high - do you have a link to the original research? Is this just an online poll? I would be surprised if half of 18-30 year olds own a wearable that enable any banking transactions?

James Clark
James Clark - PayPal - London 21 October, 2015, 16:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I agree with James Bell, this seems very high.  Looking around our office, I don't think 50% of millenials would have a wearable that is capable of payment - and I would expect our office to be much higher than the average given we're in the industry.

Here is the link to the press release from Intelligent Environments:
http://www.intelligentenvironments.com/info-centre/press-releases/banking-with-wearables-a-hit-with-millennials-new-research-reveals

Andrei Charniauski
Andrei Charniauski - Finastra - London 22 October, 2015, 09:50Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Is it 1st of April already?

The proportion of UK population wearing "bankable" wearable devices is tiny - not event 1%. Multiply this by the fact that just a few banks actually offer wearable apps - we're talking about fractions of a percent.

I wonder how the question was phrased: "Have you ever banked on a device that you carry with you at all times?" (yes, on a mobile phone) :)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 22 October, 2015, 11:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Oh, I love this one - it reeks of the "Strategic Silence" method of lying with big data.

How To Lie With Big Data

Going by the example I quoted there, the following is closer to reality: 

"Almost half of UK 18-30-year olds who own a banking-ready wearable device have banked on a wearable device."

But how much buzz will such a clumsy statement generate?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 22 October, 2015, 11:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I agree with Mr. Bell and Mr. Clark. The percentage must include the mobile phone as a "wearable" as suggested by Mr. Charniauski.

I think the author points out a high percentage of 18-30-year-olds are more interested in digital banking because of wearable technology.

We are working hard to place the Pay.band on the wrist of ten percent of that demographic. 

digital banking because of wearable technology
Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 23 October, 2015, 14:02Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

We've made further inquiries about this poll and found that Intelligent Environments were a little economical with the truth. It transpires that the numbers relate only to millennials who are in possession of a wearable device. Which frankly makes a mockery of the claims. We've pressed for more details on how many of the 2000 consumers polled were in fact millennials, and how many of them sported a wearable device. We've yet to receive any response. Intelligent Environments have in the past run similar surveys on trust-based issues in banking. Perhaps they should consider undertaking similar research into trust-based issues in vendor marketing claims.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 23 October, 2015, 16:34Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

So my prediction of this being another case of being economical with the truth by using "strategic silence" was not off the mark! I've come across many companies like Intelligent Environments and have begun to admire the chutzpah of some of them. When caught out on a similar claim, one of them looked at me like I was totally dumb and told me the equivalent of "Isn't it obvious that only millennials owning banking-ready wearables can bank on a wearable? Why do we need to state it explicitly?". On a side note, I predict that research into vendor marketing trust issues will have to come from their pro-bono budget!

Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 23 October, 2015, 17:291 like 1 like

While we contemplated deleting this news item, we thought it would be instructive - although painful for the news desk - to keep it live on the understanding that readers would find the comment stream interesting. As a rule, Finextra only ever runs consumer polls were the sample size is 2000 or more. Then we take a close look at the wording. So, for instance, a poll that told us that 20% of UK consumers would 'consider' moving to a challenger bank usually finds it way into the trash. I might 'consider' having the Finextra logo tatooed on my chest, but it doesn't necessarily mean that I would rush off and have it done. Alternatively we might invert it with the result that three-in-five UK consumers wouldn't even consider moving to a challenger bank. In this case, Intelligent Environments were quite specific about their claims (or so we thought). Still, we should have smelled a rat (critical faculties dulled by a busy news round) and for that we can only apologise. Standards slipped, but lessons learned.