Samsung has partnered with HSBC Bank to bring Samsung wearable technology to the banking industry, according to a Thursday press release. The wearables are intended to improve customer and employee experiences by making in-branch communications smoother and more efficient, according to the release.

A pilot program is launching at an HSBC branch in the heart of New York City, which has been coined the “branch of the future” by the company, according to the release. Employees are using the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatches to improve communication among the three floors of the flagship branch. The watches enable employees to freely communicate throughout building without being tied to fixed locations like desks or offices, added the release.

SEE: Electronic communication policy (Tech Pro Research)

The cloud-based, customized Gear S3 devices feature preset text messages that let employees quickly and discreetly communicate about common customer interactions, said the release. Preset phrases such as “Your 10 a.m. appointment is here,” can cut down on unnecessary time spent conveying the same message by phone or by physically walking to another part of the building.

Using Samsung Knox Configure, IT administrators are able to enroll new devices and edit messages and user interface to better meet workflow needs, said the release. The interface of the watches allow employees to quickly send one another messages or requests of immediate service needs, and the device also discreetly notifies the sender when the request has been completed, added the release.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy Fold, S10, S10 Plus and S10e: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

By keeping the notifications more covert, employees are able to pay more attention to the needs of the customer, rather than being distracted by manual communication practices. The Gear S3 is also 4G LTE-enabled, so employees don’t need to be near their Galaxy smartphones to stay connected, said the release. The built-in microphone and speaker allow them to answer and make calls within the team.

“Research published by Celent in May found that 77% of consumers prefer to speak face-to-face with banking associates, indicating how important branch service remains,” said John Curtis, vice president of Samsung enterprise sales, in the release. “Innovative banks like HSBC recognize the importance of catering to their branch customer needs, and know how data-driven insights can help them further enhance how they deliver to those needs.”

Based on initial results from the pilot, customer wait times have improved, along with efficiency in communication between team members, said the release. HSBC will also use the insights to better determine peak times and improve working practices.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Samsung partnered with HSBC to bring Gear S3 wearable watches to the bank’s central New York City branch.
  • The customized watches intend to improve customer and employee relationships by cutting down on manual communication techniques and focusing more on the customer.