Westpac to Trial Run Cash Tank App on Google Glass, Introduce iBeacon Tech to Branches

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By Vittorio Hernandez | February 5, 2014 9:48 AM EST

YouTube/WestpacBanking

In addition to its current mobile banking for business, Westpac Bank is pilot testing the MoneyMeter apps for the Google Glass. Harry Wendt, the bank's general manager of digital, said trials of the app's use are underway in St George Bank to place its account balance monitoring app on Google Glass.

Google Glass, a portable micro-computer, has a display screen over the right eye which will follow voice command to map routes, take videos and photos and translate words.

YouTube/Nischal Dhakal

Similarly, trial of Cash Tank, the equivalent Google Glass app of the MoneyMeter in New Zealand is also ongoing. Customers are given up to date view on how much money they have in their account. The apps are ready for public use once Google Glass becomes widely available in the later part of 2014.

In an advance step toward adapting wearable technology, Westpac would also pilot test the Branch and ATM locator on smartwatches.

Simon Pomeroy, chief digital officer of Westpac in New Zealand, added that the Cash Tank app is already in Sony's Smartwatch. He said that the app's functionality would soon include other customer transfer between their bank accounts, the ability to get account alerts and locate the nearest ATM or Westpac branch.

Mr Wendt also said that trial of the in-branch IBeacon app would begin in St George in the next few months. The communications technology is for sending customers special offers and other incentives on their device when they are in a branch or just even walk past one.

It is based on the same Bluetooth technology in almost all cellular phones which permits the devices to communicate with small transmitters to determine a person's physical proximity to a product or other users.

Mr Pomeroy said, quoted by the Australian Financial Review, "By the end of this year our customers will be able to walk into a shop wearing their Google Glasses, see something they like and instantly check their banks balance which will be displayed in their peripheral vision - that's pretty cool."

He said the iBeacon trials which would begin in selected Westpac branches in New Zealand by the end of February is another opportunity that would add another dimension to the company's customer service.

"Digital innovation is unfolding around the world at an incredible pace and we're focused on making it available to our customers to make things easier and faster for them," he said.

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Google co-founder Sergei Brin wearing new Google Glass glasses. (Reuters)
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