Banks making smartphone apps is all the rage these days, but the new frontier is wearables. One of the first banks in India to the party is HDFC, with its Apple Watch app.
The app works by first asking you to setup a watchbanking pin on the iPhone app, and then entering those 4 digits on the watch. Post that the app logs you in without having to enter the Customer ID or password, making the entire process very convenient. There is however, as always, a flip side to convenience. You cannot do a whole lot, and certainly not move money around right from the watch, as that would be a potential security nightmare; what with the app protected by just a 4 digit pin.
But there is still a lot of functionality that makes HDFC’s app a nifty addition to your wrist.
- You can view account information for all your accounts – saving, current, demat, credit card and so on.
- Recharge/Bill payment for pre-registered mobile numbers.
- Request account statements and cheque books.
- Locate the nearby ATMs and bank branches.
- View messages from the bank and other offers.
- Finally, hotlist lost debit cards.
Here is how it all looks:
The pin can be hard to enter, specially with the watch on the wrist. I wish an update revamps this layout with something that makes more sense, perhaps a spin wheel for numbers.
Post punching the pin in, this is the list of functions that you see. Surprisingly well featured for a version 1 product on a category of devices that is still finding its feet.
The mere fact that you can quickly glance at your balances by pinching in a 4 digit pin alone makes this app worth it. Logging in on the phone on the other hand is far more cumbersome.
Here is some of the other functionality that we discussed above. The locate button pulls your GPS and presents your nearby ATMs on a photo of the map. You can’t use it to navigate just yet, but it’s good enough to see if there are any ATMs or branches around.
The ‘Calls Us’ button similarly changes the phone numbers to the city you’re in. All in all, if you have an Apple Watch, the app commands a place on your tiny screen, despite it being prone to the odd crash.
Things can only get better.