Citi Apple Watch app already on virtual shelves

US bank Citi quick off the mark with a mobile app for the Apple Watch to let customers check balances, available for order from April 2015

US bank Citi was quick off the mark with a mobile app for the Apple Watch, which will be available for order from April 2015.

The Citi app will allow customers to check balances, provide notifications and give more detailed information about payments.

According to an Apple App Store posting: “The Citi Mobile app makes banking even more convenient for Citi customers with an Apple Watch. A quick look lets you see your checking, savings and credit card balances. You can get detailed information about your five most recent transactions, and even receive subtle notifications to remind you of payment due dates.”

Forrester analyst James McQuivey said 20 million people in the US alone are likely to buy something new from Apple, and 36% of these are interested in buying the Apple Watch at the right price.

“Apple has an easy shot at converting 10 million people to buy Apple Watch between the US and international markets,” said McQuivey. "We stand by our initial assessment that 10 million units sold by year end is likely.”

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Europeans tire of looking at their phones

Forrester research found 21% of adults in Europe are tired of pulling their phones from their pockets; and 32% state they are intrigued by the prospect of getting a wearable device – with 36% saying the wrist is where they would prefer to wear it.

In November 2014 the Nationwide Building Society enabled customers to check their bank balance on smartwatches if they have already downloaded the building society’s mobile banking app.

The firm partnered with IBM to develop a system to allow Android Wear users to perform banking tasks on their wearables. The smartwatch will connect to the mobile banking app to provide users with real-time updates of their balance.

Wearable technology in financial services

Financial services firms have been experimenting with wearable technology for some time. Back in 2013, Adrian David Cheok, professor of pervasive computing at City University London, told Computer Weekly that the university was in talks with a finance firm about trialling wearable technology in trading environments.

Cheok and his team developed a ring that can receive a message over the internet. This ring can be connected to an application that monitors big data. If there are changes in things such as stock prices, a message could be sent to the ring and the wearer alerted through the sense of touch.

“A finance firm is looking to use the ring for real-time data for finance professionals because you can’t be in front of your terminal 24 hours a day. But there are certain stocks and indicators they have to always monitor,” said Cheok at the time. “By having something very personal on your body, like wearable technology, 24 hours a day, they can, for example, get information about whether a stock is going up or down."

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