The banking industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, enhanced security, operational efficiency, ever changing consumer expectations, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and cyber security.  In the last three years alone, there have been over 129,000 patents filed and granted in the banking industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in banking: automated clearing houses. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

30+ innovations will shape the banking industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the banking industry using innovation intensity models built on over 165,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, AR/VR trading platforms and mortgage servicing risk management are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Voice payments, cashless settlement and asynchronous distributed payments are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are IM trading platforms and UWB-enabled payments, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the banking industry

Automated clearing houses is a key innovation area in banking

Automated clearing houses (ACHs) are electronic networks used to process large volumes batches of low value credit and debit transactions between participating financial institutions such as direct deposit, payroll, vendor payments, debit transfers, and consumer payments.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 290+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established banking companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated clearing houses.

Key players in automated clearing houses – a disruptive innovation in the banking industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to automated clearing houses

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mastercard 214 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 103 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 77 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 75 Unlock Company Profile
Fidelio Acquisition 64 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 53 Unlock Company Profile
Early Warning Services 41 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal 41 Unlock Company Profile
Citigroup 34 Unlock Company Profile
Fidelity National Information Services 33 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 30 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 25 Unlock Company Profile
Fiserv 25 Unlock Company Profile
The Goldman Sachs Group 24 Unlock Company Profile
Royal Bank of Canada 23 Unlock Company Profile
Intuit 22 Unlock Company Profile
Xero 21 Unlock Company Profile
Ripple Labs 21 Unlock Company Profile
Block 19 Unlock Company Profile
Professional Datasolutions 17 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 16 Unlock Company Profile
China UnionPay 16 Unlock Company Profile
NetsUnion Clearing 15 Unlock Company Profile
Wells Fargo 15 Unlock Company Profile
CME Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
Cboe Global Markets 14 Unlock Company Profile
Cfph 13 Unlock Company Profile
Plaid 13 Unlock Company Profile
PLDT 12 Unlock Company Profile
Dominion Harbor Enterprises 11 Unlock Company Profile
First Datacorp 11 Unlock Company Profile
Amadeus IT Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
American Express 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
TBCASoft 9 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 9 Unlock Company Profile
NCR 9 Unlock Company Profile
SK Telecom 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 9 Unlock Company Profile
China Investment 9 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 9 Unlock Company Profile
Brex 9 Unlock Company Profile
Global Payments 9 Unlock Company Profile 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tender Armor 8 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 8 Unlock Company Profile
Early Warning Services 8 Unlock Company Profile
Baton Systems 8 Unlock Company Profile
Pathward Financial 8 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in digital payment technologies associated with automated clearing houses, Mastercard is one of the leading patent filers. By leveraging open banking, the company launched two Smart Payment Decisioning Tools, namely Payment Success Indicator and Payment Routing Optimizer, in March 2022, to minimize ACH payment failures, reduce transaction costs, and make the payment experience faster, safer, and smarter for customers. Alibaba Group, Bank of America, and Visa are some of the other key patent filers in the space.

In terms of application diversity, Fidelio Acquisition held the top position, while CFPH and Advanced New Technologies stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Ripple Labs leads the pack, followed by Xero and Alphabet.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the banking industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Banking.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.