Research and innovation in machine learning in the major banks, central banks, and non-bank competitors sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of related patent applications in the industry stood at 109 in the three months ending December – down from 542 over the same period in 2020.

Figures for patent grants related to followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 119 in the three months ending December 2020 to 39 in the same period in 2021.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

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By GlobalData

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Capital One was the top innovator in the major banks, central banks, and non-bank competitors sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the US, filed 70 related patents in the three months ending December. That was down from 132 over the same period in 2020.

It was followed by the China based Ping An Insurance with 52 patent applications, the US based PayPal (36 applications), and Bank of America (21 applications).

Mastercard has recently ramped up R&D in . It saw growth of 83.3% in related patent applications in the three months ending December compared to the same period in 2020 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the major banks, central banks, and non-bank competitors sector.

GlobalData is the parent company of Retail Banker International and its sister publications