Now that the Apple Watch has arrived, banks and technology companies are making a big effort on the wearable's small screen. Some are focused on alerts and budgeting; others take advantage of the device's unique hardware. (Image: Bloomberg News)
It may seem obvious, but putting Apple Pay on a watch is no small feat. It requires Near Field Communication hardware and a new approach to security. The watch uses sensors to detect when it is removed, and it will not allow the user to make payments until reauthenticating. (Image: Bloomberg News)
The French company lets users approve P2P payments and make e-commerce purchases from notifications that appear on its Apple Watch. It also offers plugins so merchants can add a one-tap payment button to their websites and apps.
Citi was the first bank to announce an app for the Apple Watch. Its app, called Citi Mobile Lite, shows alerts and color-coded indicators of users' spending limits.
USAA has a well-earned reputation as an innovator in mobile banking, and it's bringing that expertise to Apple's new wearable. The USAA smartwatch app is also available on Google's Android Wear platform.
Happy State Bank
Happy State, based in Texas, is one of four community banks and three credit unions that launched Apple Watch apps using technology from Malauzai Software. "Banks have never been in the position they are in today," said Matthew Smith, the bank's VP of e-banking services. "In the past, customers had to go out of their way to go to the bank. With mobile technology, banks are everywhere the customer is."
Personal Capital applies a timekeeping aesthetic to personal financial management. On the Apple Watch, the "progress bar" that shows how much of the Personal Capital user's budget is left is reminiscent of a watch face.
Wallaby Financial developed an app to show the user which credit card provides the best rewards for each purchase. Its Apple Watch app senses the user's location to suggest which card to use at nearby stores; the app also provides notifications.
SCVNGR's LevelUp announced plans back in September to support Apple Watch through new readers that can read NFC and Bluetooth signals. The company already has apps for Android and Pebble smartwatches, and it uses Apple's iBeacon to send notifications to LevelUp users through Apple's Passbook app.