Banks across the world are set to significantly increase spending on new payment technology in 2016, according to a new report from Ovum.
Ovum says the boost in spending is driven by increased emphasis on security, changing consumer behaviour, and new technologies - such as Blockchain, mobile payments, and real-time payment transactions.
Ovum says almost two in three (61 per cent) banks globally will increase their spending on payment technology next year.
This is up significantly on 2015, when just over half (52 per cent) increased their IT expenditure on payment technology, according to Ovum’s 2016 Trends to Watch: Payments.
Most tellingly the proportion of banks reporting significant increases in payments’ spending (over 6 per cent) has leaped from near 10 per cent to almost 30 per cent. Ovum says that such a major shift is representative of the transformative levels of change happening in the payments market.
“Investment levels in payments have been high in recent years, driven by the need to deploy new payment services, cope with the overall rise in electronic transaction volumes, and replace ageing legacy infrastructure. 2016 will see an increase in this trend,” says Gilles Ubaghs, senior analyst, financial services technology team at Ovum.
This will be driven by the need to find new means of authentication while reducing risk and the burgeoning growth in tokenisation technologies.
Ovum says it has surveyed CIOs and other senior IT decision-makers in over 60 countries and processed data from around 6,500 interviews in 17 industries, for this report.
Security remains a top of the agenda for banks, the report states.
Banks’ increasing investment in payment tech is aided by growing concerns over security and the need for regulatory compliance, says Ovum. The research firm says over 70 per cent of retail banks report a rise in expenditure on security and anti-fraud technologies.
Ubaghs says this focus is not surprising given the need for top notch security across the explosion of new payment tools and services now emerging. Immediate payments are a close contender for top priority, with nearly 65 per cent of banks viewing immediate payments as an opportunity across every business category.
“Security is always a core issue for both vendors and enterprises alike and the market is set to see renewed levels of investment activity in 2016. This will be driven by the need to find new means of authentication while reducing risk and the burgeoning growth in tokenisation technologies.”
Highlighting retail banks’ concern with adding security with new ways of paying, 34 per cent cite biometric technology as a priority for the coming year as well as a focus on using additional information such as location data during transactions.
The report notes the impact of Blockchain technology on the payments landscape.
As attention moves away from Bitcoin as a currency and towards the longer term use of distributed ledger technology, the report emphasises how enterprises from banks to merchants need to get to grips with this technology now. Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are finally approaching practical applications as the regulatory environment begins to become clear, according to Ovum.
"Not every organisation will need the Blockchain in the short term, but what they will need is an understanding of where it can fit into their organisation,” says Ubaghs. “The scale of implications of the Blockchain suggests slow movers are likely to miss out in the long term."
The report likewise notes the unexpected lack of success experienced by platforms such as Apple Pay has taught banks a valuable lesson.
Even with the best laid intentions, it remains extremely difficult to force consumers to use new products and services without incorporating a clear ‘why’ case, says Ovum. The customer interface is not the same as the customer experience, and banks need to create a more compelling story for consumers with their platforms.
Read more: ANZ launches mobile wallet
"Even the magic wand of Apple has not been enough to jumpstart the mobile proximity payment market,” notes Ubaghs. “With similar platforms from Google and Samsung now emerging, it would appear these platforms face several years of steady slog towards mass acceptance."
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