By Maksim Bieliai, BA Team Leader, Fintech Market Analyst at MobiDev
Over the past few years, business owners have been looking for new ways to deliver financial management and assistance options to their customers. One of the most important parts of this process is the user experience, and one of the most critical technologies that impacts this is augmented reality. Augmented Reality Technology has been a key technology in industrial and non-industrial areas of digital transformation. AR provides interactivity, immersiveness, and personalization. However, it’s best to consider both the benefits and pitfalls of using augmented reality in fintech before making a big leap.
AR is the Key to Fintech’s Entry into the Metaverse
It’s almost impossible to avoid the excitement surrounding metaverse applications. More immersive web experiences are here to stay, and many businesses are doing what they can to accomplish this with virtual reality and augmented reality.
However, few technologies show as much promise to bridge the real and virtual worlds as augmented reality. It doesn’t require a large headset, needing merely a user’s smartphone and its camera. This provides the basis for its use in a wide range of fintech applications. Once fintech customer experiences can be made more immersive through AR, the industry will integrate more fluidly with other metaverse applications.
For example, J.P. Morgan has launched the Onyx Lounge project in Decentraland, which allows it to provide banking services virtually and become the first US bank to enter the metaverse.
Use Cases for AR in Fintech
At first glance, augmented reality technology may seem more like a toy than a useful tool. However, when looking deeper, it has a number of useful applications that fintech companies can take advantage of.
One intriguing opportunity of AR in fintech is the ability to visualize data more fluidly. Fintech customers may look at their account balances daily, but they may not truly understand the value of their data. AR makes it possible to visualize information in 3D space and display objects to scale. The user could use a data visualization app to see what their wealth in stacks of dollar bills actually looks like.
Augmented reality can also be used as a tool to teach people how aspects of finance work. Since AR is already popular in entertainment use cases like Snapchat filters and gaming, it may be effective in helping users learn more about finance and how to better manage their accounts. Data visualization may play a large role in this endeavor.
Trading Assets with AR
There are a few interpretations of this: in one interpretation, Citigroup’s virtual trading desk with Microsoft HoloLens provides a user with the ability to set up a digital workstation viewable in augmented reality. A number of virtual screens that surround the user will show the performance of stocks and other assets and allow them to make decisions based on this information. For example, AR can be used for the visualization of financial stock data. Users of such a solution can create virtual charts displaying stock and financial data in real-time, thereby simplifying the perception of complex indicators.
However, this is a very niche application of AR in fintech. Instead, a potentially more consumer-focused application of AR may be the ability to send money to others via AR. This might be powered by smartphone facial recognition, or it might involve scanning wallet codes.
The Main Challenges of Implementing AR in Fintech
One of the greatest benefits of fintech augmented reality is also one of its greatest current challenges. Smartphones are so prevalent that there are millions of people with access to AR experiences. However, just because they have access doesn’t mean that their experience is perfect. Using a smartphone as a window to AR is not the most elegant solution. More advanced AR uses require app installation, and universal web-based AR isn’t powerful enough for many use cases.
Mobile AR also isn’t immersive since it’s not head mounted. Headset AR isn’t ready for consumer use yet, being restricted to expensive platforms intended primarily for developers.
Augmented reality for mobile devices can also be challenging to implement across all platforms. Android and iOS each have their own native AR framework, ARCore and ARKit respectively. Developers need to keep in mind the capabilities of each platform when considering how their apps should work. Dedicated AR development teams are familiar with how to approach these challenges and still help you provide personalized services powered by augmented reality.
How to Overcome AR Challenges
Despite these pitfalls, AR’s role in fintech still shines through. Existing challenges help businesses narrow the scope of their interests to AR applications that can reach their customers more effectively. Although AR headsets aren’t mainstream yet, mobile AR is and should be utilized when necessary. Dedicated AR development teams can help businesses accomplish their goals. With their experience and your business vision, you can bring the evolution of user experience to your fintech business.