Westpac New Zealand is to release the world’s first banking app for account management using augmented reality.
Westpac NZ customers will soon be able to use augmented reality and its 3D imagery to check their credit and debit card balances, see their last five transactions and spend locations, categorise spending over a five week period, be alerted when payments are due, make payments, check their hotpoints® balance and find the closest Westpac NZ branch and ATM. The locator will also work internationally to find an ATM Global Alliance machine.
The app was the winning concept from the bank’s crowd sourcing initiative, The Westpac Global App Challenge – UK. It will be available to customers in September. Further development for future updates include payments and transfers between accounts and making the hotpoints catalogue available.
Chief Digital Officer Simon Pomeroy said the 3D imagery brings banking to life delivering a quick, easy, and unique experience for the customer.
“Not so long ago augmented reality was considered a futuristic prop in the movies but a growing number of people believe it has the potential to change our lives as much as the internet and mobile phone,” Mr Pomeroy said.
“From the moment we saw the concept for this app in our crowdsourcing competition in the United Kingdom and started to develop it, the impact augmented reality can have in adding a new dimension to mobile banking became apparent.
“This is the first time it has been used for account management in banking and we see a number of possibilities for it in the future.”
Once the app is downloaded, the relevant cards are registered and the account is set up, customers merely have to slide their credit or debit card under their phone which activates the camera. Balances, transaction history, spend locations and other information is then presented in 3D.
Mr Pomeroy said other apps from crowdsourcing in New Zealand would be available when Westpac’s new online banking platform is released to more customers in September. Once launched, the new platform will enable customers to do about 90% of the activity that currently requires a visit to a branch online, including originating loans. The platform will be fully responsive, meaning it will deliver the same functionality on any internet enabled mobile device. Westpac New Zealand will be one of only a handful of banks in the world to deliver this capability and the only one in Australasia.
“This is an exciting time to be in banking,” Mr Pomeroy said.
“Customers are driving change and innovation through their uptake of new technology which is changing their needs and behaviours. Listening to customers and watching global trends is essential and initiatives like crowdsourcing are part of that.
“We are focused on delivering the best digital banking experience in New Zealand and innovations like our new augmented reality app and online banking platform are significant steps toward that goal.”
The new augmented reality app will be available on any iOS smart device.