Investment in innovation is still key
Despite conflicting priorities and the sluggish economic climate, 2012 saw banks increase their investment in innovation. In fact, a survey conducted in the latter half of the year showed that 76% of banks have increased their investment in innovation from the previous year, writes Mohit Joshi of Infosys.
The global study of 300 bankers also showed that 79% of banks see innovation as key to future proofing businesses.
However, what’s most interesting are the areas of innovation that they’re choosing to invest in. 87% of respondents stated their focus is on integrating existing business processes, such as CRM or marketing, with social media, whilst 86% said it’s on adopting interactive services, such as web chat, video conferencing, and click-to-call. What these findings highlight is that improving the customer experience through greater interactivity is likely to be a key focus for many financial organisations in 2013.
In the banking sector, as with many others, big data has been the industry buzzword for 2012, with business and IT teams alike keen to engage in big data projects. However, in too many cases, this initial enthusiasm has generated a scatter-gun approach to implementation, which in turn, has meant banks have failed to fully reap the rewards. 2013 will see excitement die down and banks take a strategic approach to their big data projects, prioritising only those that directly support their wider business aims.
Key to this more targeted approach will be an increased focus on the quality, rather than quantity, of data analysed. As banks seek to do more with their data, it’s only by eliminating duplicate or poor quality information that they can truly ensure their analysis is accurate and their business benefits from the insights big data can glean.
2012 has been a big year for mobile innovations, with the launch of 4G and even more tablets and smart phones entering the market, ensuring that more consumers than ever before are able to access the internet whenever and wherever they want. And yet, banks have not matched this pace and many have been slow to embrace the opportunities on offer from mobile banking. 2013 looks set to change this however, with our recent global survey suggesting that next year, 93% of banks expect to offer mobile payment services and 89% plan to offer bespoke tablet banking applications to customers within the next three years.”
“2012 has seen battle intensify between traditional highstreet players and the new breed of banks who originate in the FMCG or retail sector, such as Tesco Bank and M&S Bank. Key to the successful growth of these new entrants to the market is their lack of cumbersome legacy IT systems. By being more agile and having lower operating costs than their competitors, these banks are able to offer customers a wider range of services, often at a more reasonable price. In order for high street banks to effectively take on these challengers, they need to ensure that 2013 is the year they reduce their reliance on legacy infrastructure and instead adopt more scalable and efficient technologies such as cloud computing.
Mohit Joshi is vice president and head, Financial Services Europe, Infosys