Virtual reality (VR) technology has come a long way since 1960, when Helig built the “Sensorama” designed with a moving chair and head-mounted camera so that the user could enjoy a 3-D “experience” while watching a film. In June 2015, the Business Insider reported that virtual reality headsets sales were expected to become a 2.8 billion dollar market while the software market for VR will be even more. In addition, this 2015 Future of Retail survey indicates that 32% of consumers are interested in purchasing a virtual reality headset such as Oculus Rift. Skip Rizzo, Director for medical virtual reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies describes the VR interaction with consumers, “You can fool the brain. It doesn’t have to be an exact replica of reality for people to suspend belief and interact with the digital content as if it’s the real thing.” Watching VR “changed the game” in the entertainment and gaming industries, and created a ripple effect. It is literally transforming all aspects of social networking. And now there is the possibility that the disrupting influence of VR technology even has potential in healthcare. But what about fintech? The millennial customer demands virtual reality As the millennial consumer comes of age, they easily accept and embrace the virtual world. By 2025 the millennials will dominate the U.S. workforce. The demand for real-time virtual technology grows with their influence and wealth. The millennials are the largest U.S. generation in history (84 million strong) and according to a three year study out of the 15 major industries in the world the fintech sector is primed for VR disruption. Millennials don’t care for the traditional retail-banking experience. Whether they are paying a bill, signing up for a credit card or trying to get a loan they want to do it on a mobile device. Their “need for speed” is driving the VR revolution in fintech. The virtual reality experience in fintech is less sensory than in gaming. It most frequently involves data visualization. VR is beginning to have a powerful impact, as it enhances the mobile and customer experience. Three ways to create a VR experience in fintech 1. Voice activated display of transaction data Your transaction data is displayed to you as you request it. You can even refine the transactions based on what you see. Voice activated visualization of all your transactions is becoming a reality in fintech. 2. Robo-visor virtual reality experience You no longer have to sit down in a physical location with a real life person. Instead from any device you can consult your very own robo-visor. The robo-visor gives you advice and options. No more waiting for an appointment. It’s now possible to interactively review and optimize your portfolio without ever leaving home. Robo-visors have instant access to your accounts so they can offer advice and solutions. 3. Fraud detection and analysis When you “walk” into your virtual bank and ask for your account information, it’s possible to now see a map of where the transactions are made. If the map shows a location where you have never been it’s a red flag. You may even hear the question...“Is this an authorized purchase? I noticed that you live in California and the purchase was made in New York.” As you are denying the charges, a fraud activity notification is sent to your bank. At Yodlee®, we have seen some creative solutions emerge from our customers in the wearables space. For example, Personal Capital recently launched an Apple Watch app that is designed to empower customers to track spending by setting a monthly target. What are your thoughts on VR? We would love to hear your perspective on the future for this fascinating technology. We look forward to the innovative fintech/VR ideas that continue to empower consumers in all aspects of money management. Does VR have a future in fintech? The answer is yes and the future is now. To learn more about how Yodlee Interactive APIs power innovative apps, visit our developer portal.