HDFC Bank Introduces Watch Banking in India for Apple Watch

HDFC Bank has launched a new app for the Apple Watch. With the new app, HDFC Bank becomes the first bank in the country to foray into watch banking.
hdfcWith the launch of wearable devices and potential demand for wearable devices in India, consumers are highly likely to add yet another digital interface – a wearable device – to their current portfolio of devices. A banking experience on a personalized wearable device would take the consumer’s interaction with the bank to a whole new level.

HDFC Bank is starting with the Apple Watch and aims to provide banking services through all wearable devices across platforms like iOS and Android Wear.

Features of HDFC Bank Watch Banking

HDFC Bank will provide a total of 10 banking transactions in the current launch phase. Some of them being View Account Information, Bill Payments, Recharges, Hotlisting facilities, locate nearest branch/ATM/offer, request statement/chequebook etc. Moreover, HDFC Bank’s WatchBanking does not require our customers to download a separate App. Customers can activate WatchBanking from an upgraded version of HDFC Bank’s MobileBanking App itself!

Security features and how will it work?

HDFC Bank brings in the same level of high security of its Mobile Banking App to its Watch Banking experience.

  • Any user information or data flow that happens, it if from the mobile phone to the bank’s secure servers. The watch is merely a projection device
  • For added security, there is a watch banking PIN that the user himself sets during the one time set-up process. This can be done only after entering his customer id and password known only to the user.
  • Additionally the Apple watch itself has a passcode lock just like other iOS devices.


Features in the Current Release

  1. View all A/c Information – Savings, Current, Fixed Deposits, Demat, Mutual Funds, Credit Cards
  2. Recharge Mobile and DTH
  3. Request A/c Statement
  4. Request Cheque book
  5. Locate nearest ATM
  6. Locate nearest Branch
  7. View discount offers
  8. Call the Bank
  9. Hotlist Debit Card
  10. View Messages from the bank

There are few other features which are expected to hit the watch-banking app soon.

  • Pay bills of pre-added billers
  • Pay bills through active notifications
  • Get notified about offers based on your location
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Apple Launches WatchKit; Developers can now Build Apps for Watch

Apple has launched WatchKit, the development platform for its smartwatch, which will be available to consumers sometime early 2015. The Apple Watch supports apps that include both a WatchKit extension on the iPhone connected to the device, and UI elements stored on the Watch itself. This also means that, the iPhone runs the applications, and the Apple Watch sends notifications and receive instructions through voice and app actions from the user. This is pretty much similar to the Android Wear implementation on Moto 360 (or any other android Wear devices).

Apple has provided design and human interface guidelines for those building software for its wearable, too. These include suggestions and templates for different types of interfaces, tips on how to build the best home screen icons for the Apple Watch’s new unique bubble-based menu, size and layout style suggestions, as well as fonts and tips on text sizes. Apple’s smartwatch is an entirely new category, so the design language to be used on the apps built for it will differ considerably from what people are used to on their phones and tablets.

Developers will need to install Xcode 6.2 beta, and iOS 8.2 SDK that includes WatchKit to start working with the Applications and Extensions. You can have a look at the Programming Guide here


apple-watchWatchKit apps have two parts: A WatchKit extension that runs on iPhone and a set of user interface resources that are installed on Apple Watch. When your app is launched on Apple Watch, the WatchKit extension on iPhone runs in the background to update the user interface and respond to user interactions. WatchKit provides three opportunities to extend your iPhone app to Apple Watch: WatchKit apps, Glances, and actionable notifications.

It isn’t very clear on what features would Apple Watch provide; but, looking through the announcements they made sometime ago, it certainly looks like the Watch is going to have some offline functionalities, and support Apple Pay for mobile payments. Let’s hope that the Apps are not going to be resource intensive, thereby not affecting the battery life; which has been one big concern with any of the watch implementations so far.