North American banks consider technology to be the biggest trend impacting their industry and are focusing their investment strategy. Banks are also prioritising moving domestic core banking to the cloud more than other regions, 36% of North American banks vs. 26% of banks globally. Further, 79% of North Americans believe that a multi-cloud strategy will become a regulatory pre-requisite in the next five years, compared to 60% in Europe.

That is according to an Economist Impact study, commissioned by Temenos, which surveyed bank executives in North America. The report finds that while North American banks have traditionally lagged behind their global counterparts in adopting modern technology, that trend is shifting. The study revealed 90% of North American banks believe technology will have the biggest impact on their industry in the next five years, compared to 63% of banks globally.

Nearly a quarter of banks in North America are focusing their technology investment on DevOps. This is helping banks to speed up changes to their core systems and back-office processes. North American banks see Artificial Intelligence as a valuable tool for customer fraud detection more than any other region.

Collaboration with fintechs and other technology providers seen as vital to staying competitive

Jonathan Birdwell, Global Head of Policy & Insights, Economist Impact, said: “North American banks expect competition from non-traditional players in the tech and e-commerce space, such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. As a result, they are increasingly moving applications to the cloud to best utilise emerging technologies, handle the growth of data and protect market share from emerging non-traditional entrants.”

In addition to investing in cloud capabilities, the survey found collaboration with fintechs and other technology providers is seen as central to staying agile and competitive. 40% of North American banks are participating in sandboxes with fintech and other technology providers to test new propositions compared to 32% of global peers.

Philip Barnett, President, Temenos, commented: “The fear of being left behind and missing out on new markets is pushing North American banks towards a greater adoption of disruptive technologies. Banks in this region are betting big on technology, with the goal of modernising and securing their core infrastructure and personalising customer experience and engagement. Tech investments are also helping banks compete with fintechs and non-financial companies, both on banks’ traditional turf and in newer spaces, such as embedded finance, where their competitors have led the way.”

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