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U.S. Banks Leaders in Technology Innovation According to New Survey

Banks report they plan to develop new innovative services focused on Real-Time over the rest of 2019 into 2020

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
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U.S. Banks Leaders in Technology Innovation According to New Survey

According to a new study by ACI Worldwide and Ovum, banks and intermediaries are ahead of other corporations in terms of several technology innovations. For example, 96 percent of retail banks and 94 percent of corporate banks report that they plan to develop new and innovative services focused on Real-Time over the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.

Additionally, 82 percent of corporate banks and 74 percent of retail banks plan to move “mission-critical workloads into public cloud infrastructure.”

Merchants in the US, in contrast, are considered to be challenged with 34 percent falling into what the survey calls “Laggards” and 16 percent into the Trailblazers category, “reflecting the growing gap between more traditional merchants and many of the more digital native businesses”, according to the survey.

The key for merchants is customer experience with innovation focused on new payment options, on mobile (especially in-store), and a stronger, more seamless cross-channel payment experience. Secondly, merchants are focusing on technology that helps prevent fraud.

Part of the reason why merchants may be falling behind banks is that banks have far more regulatory requirements than merchants. However, merchants may fall into more scrutiny with lawmakers, encouraging corporations and retailers to invest in technology that will help protect consumers.

Retailers will continue to face challenges in balancing the desire to improve the customer experience while preventing fraud. One example is simply credit card verification, where consumers are not expected to sign let alone show identification to verify a credit card purchase comparatively to just a few years ago.

Corporations in general also fall behind banks when it comes to technology innovation. While security is a top concern for corporations, fifty percent of the corporate sector report experiencing theft payment data, up by 22% from last year’s survey. Mobile-optimized billing is one of the key differentiators between corporations that were deemed advanced and those that are considered Laggards.

The push for innovative technology seems to be greatest among banks, showing that the banking industry is becoming even more digitized than other elements of the United States economy.

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The U.S. has come a long way in its journey to real-time payments, with TCH and Zelle in market and FedNow just around the corner. COVID-19 has accelerated that demand to move to real-time. Yet many financial institutions remain unconvinced of the need to move, with less than 3% of financial institutions signed up today.

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