CIBC First to Launch Funds Transfer for Apple Watch

  • JJ Hornblass
  • May 14, 2015
  • 2

watch-transfer-enWhile fintech was focused on Finovate — around 1,500 #finovate tweets were generated during this week’s event in San Jose, Calif. — CIBC quietly released on Tuesday what appears to be the first Apple Watch app to allow for funds transfer.

CIBC, the Canadian bank, officially released its Apple Watch offering on Tuesday. The app is notable because it includes funds transfer, in addition to the now-standard account check, transaction details and find-a-branch functionality.

Moven’s fund transfer via Apple Watch functionality, by comparison, is not expected to be released until July. We know of no other Apple Watch banking app that allows for funds transfer at present. One industry technology company has counted 42 Apple Watch banking apps in the wild.

CIBC’s funds transfer is ingenious. It allows for increasing the funds amount by tapping boxes that add denominations to the total, like an additional $1 or $5 (see accompanying image). CIBC also allows for transfers not just between CIBC banking accounts, but also to CIBC credit card accounts.

CIBC has about 11 million customers, about $415 billion of assets, and a market capitalization of $41 billion.

We have no doubt that other banks will offer funds transfer via wearables, but it deserves note that CIBC appears to be first to the gate. Since the credit crisis, some of the best innovation in North America has come from the Canadian banks.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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