World’s first Internet of Things Bank Gives you an Electric Shock if You Spend too Much Cash

By   Information Security Buzz Editorial Staff
Chief Editor , Information Security Buzz | May 19, 2016 06:00 pm PST
  • Interact IoT, the first ever Internet of Things bank platform, launched today by Intelligent Environments
  • Smart devices such as Nest Thermostat and the Pavlok wearable device can now be connected to your bank account
  • Overspend and Pavlok will deliver an electric shock, while Nest Thermostat will automatically turn your heating down to save you £255 a year in bills
  • Watch the world’s first Internet of Things bank in action in this video

With a third of millennials too scared to check their bank account[1], a British technology firm has developed the world’s first Internet of Things bank account. The IoT bank automatically detects overspending, then gives users an electric shock or turns their heating down to save hundreds on heating bills.

World’s first Internet of Things bank platform

Intelligent Environments’ ‘Interact IoT’ enables people to log into their bank and securely connect a range of smart devices. These devices then automatically respond to a user’s bank balance, helping them save money. Two smart devices already integrated into the IoT bank platform include Nest Thermostat and Pavlok, the wearable device that gives users electric shocks to help them break bad habits.

Pavlok: Train your brain to kerb overspending with electric shocks

The Interact IoT Pavlok integration works in four easy steps. First, consumers log into their credit card or bank account. Second, they connect their Pavlok device and set a spending limit.  Third, when users near their self-imposed spending limit, their phone will display a notification. Finally, if users go over their limit, Pavlok will deliver an electric shock to their wrist.

Nest Thermostat: It will save you £255 by automatically turning your heating down

If a shock doesn’t appeal, Interact IoT also works with other smart devices, such as Google’s Nest Thermostat. As with Pavlok, if a user’s account balance drops below their self-imposed spending limit, the bank will automatically turn the Nest Thermostat down to a user-defined temperature.  According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning your thermostat down by just three degrees will save £255 per year[2].

Soon to be publicly available

Intelligent Environments anticipates many discussions with banks and credit card companies in order to bring the Interact IoT platform to their customers in the near future. Furthermore, Nest Thermostat and Pavlok are just the first of many integrations. Positioned as the ‘IFTTT of money’, the platform has been developed so any smart device (e.g. smart meters or connected lights) can be linked to users’ bank or credit card accounts.

Security is key

As a banking platform provider, security is the most important consideration for Intelligent Environments when designing and implementing new features. As a result, Interact IoT conforms to ‘bank-grade’ security so consumers can be confident their accounts are protected at all times, regardless of which smart devices are connected (see ‘notes to editors’ for technical details on security).

Responding to demand

The research from Intelligent Environments also showed that only a third of 18 to 24 year-olds feel their banks provide them with necessary digital budgeting tools to help them stay on top of their debt and finances. And 22 per cent said they would be less likely to go into debt if their bank provided them with better digital money management tools.

“With cashless payments like contactless, direct debits, and Apple Pay, it’s unsurprising we lose track of spending, so we decided to solve this by enabling smart devices to manage our overspending for us. This means customers can now get complete control and oversight of their finances without having to lift a finger.” said David Webber, Managing Director at Intelligent Environments.

“Both Pavlok and Nest Thermostat are opt-in services so consumers can decide whether to switch them on or not. However, with the Pavlok integration users have told us they love it. They think it’s much better to get a little shock now, instead of a nasty one later.”

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, an interaction designer who was named 2nd in Top 100 Internet of Things Thought Leaders (Onalytica, 2014) and included in the Top 100 Influential Tech Women on Twitter (Business Insider, 2014), said of Interact IoT: “Current regulatory and industry positions mean it’s not easy for people to take control over their money in a way that’s in keeping with the rest of the world. This concept enables people to make their money a ‘Thing’ on the ‘Internet of Things’. It’s a very clever idea.”

Leaders in innovation

Interact IoT is one of several groundbreaking innovations the financial services technology firm has developed. In June 2015, Intelligent Environments launched the first ever Emoji Password. The firm was also behind the world’s first smartwatch banking app in 2013.

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