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Pocketbook sets itself a Google Glass challenge


Just why would a financial app embrace Google Glass?

Pocketbook – which lets users aggregate your finances in one app – thinks innovation in banking will revolve around Glass, among other things. The start-up says it has begun working with cutting-edge technology around Glass.

Still, banking and Google Glass?

Pocketbook’s article of faith comes from the top. CEO Alvin Singh is a great believer in wearable technologies. And, he is predicting the Glass future for banking on two calls.

One, Singh is convinced the wearable will be the “next frontier for consumer devices,” now that the mobile revolution has nearly run its course. Obviously, that would include finance.

Two, he expects laggard Australian banks – not to mention start-ups like Pocketbook – would furiously drive innovation on a platform such as Google Glass, if only to erase their poor record in the recent past.

That said, Singh isn’t offering any breakthrough glimpse of how banking might look like through Glass. He merely touts Glass’ ability to “richly communicate” without any physical interaction, potentially offering a truly seamless experience.

“Glass creates a means of intertwining everyday consumption with the world of banking in a seamless way, which pushes the boundaries of what we’re able to achieve today in building the simplest service to manage your money,” he said.

Clearly, Westpac’s early initiative on Glass has inspired Pocketbook, a young Sydney start-up that has a battle on its hands.

Westpac is testing a version of the St. George MoneyMeter app on Google Glass, as much as a smartwatch. So, a shopper wearing Glass could conceivably eye a goody to buy, while simultaneously eyeing his bank balance. Similarly, users could, at the blink of an eye, check out their many balances on bank accounts and credit cards – and maybe interest rates too – before their purchase decisions.

Pocketbook – which claims a user base of over 60 thousand Australians – has signed up with leading several banks and financial institutions such as Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank and ING Direct.

But, it will have to do a lot more to break the Glass ceiling! With Glass yet to be rolled out commercially, Pocketbook might still have the time.