The banking and payments industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation owing to ever changing consumer expectations. The rapid technological developments in the areas of banking and payments that aim to offer seamless experience to consumers are now becoming even more vital for industry participants as competitors leverage new technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and embedded finance as they compete to stay relevant and grow in the market. In the last three years alone, there have been over 92,000 patents filed and granted in the banking industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Banking: virtual banking assistant.
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 stabilising 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.
60+ 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 195,000 patents, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, transaction-enabling smart contracts is a disruptive technology that is in the early stage of application and should be tracked closely. Distributed ledger network, BNPL payment protocols, and virtual banking assistant are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are IM trading platforms and in-app payments, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the banking industry
Virtual banking assistant is a key innovation area in banking
Voice-activated banking virtual assistants, such as Bank of America's Erica and U.S. Bank Smart Assistant, allow users to conduct transactions such as money transfers to friends or family and make payments to merchants. The banks’ customers can give instructions to carry out basic transactions while speaking to the U.S. Bank Smart Assistant.
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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established banking companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of virtual banking assistant.
Key players in virtual banking assistant – a disruptive innovation in the banking industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to virtual banking assistant
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Capital One Financial is one of the leading companies in the areas of virtual banking assistant. The bank offers a virtual banking assistant called Eno that answers a wide range of customer queries such as account summary, bill payments, transaction history, reward balances and available credit, among others. Some other key players in this space include Bank of America, Mastercard, Alibaba Group, and Wells Fargo.
In terms of application diversity, Experian leads the pack, while Socure and Nti stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Socure holds the top position, followed by Universal Secure Registry and Envestnet.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the banking industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Banking.