Retail banking IT spend to hit $118.6bn in 2013

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 05, 2013

Mobile banking

Retail banks across the globe will see IT spending grow 3.4 percent, reaching US$118.6 billion in 2013, as CIOs focus on customer satisfaction and revenue growth, according to global industry analysts Ovum. The analyst firm predicts that banks in the Asia-Pacific are the most prolific with their spending, with 5.1 percent growth, compared with European banks and North American banks that recorded a growth of 1.8 percent and 3.3 percent.

In a new Business Trends report, “Asia-Pacific Retail Banking Technology Investment Strategies 2013” Ovum suggests that within Asia-Pacific, the optimistic shift towards greater IT spending signals a reduction of the cost-cutting measures seen previously by the global banking industry. Instead, a focus on digital channels, such as online and mobile banking, and digital marketing activities will enable them to improve customer satisfaction and revenue growth strategies and fuel cross-selling and upselling opportunities in the short and mid-term.

Among the digital channels, mobile banking is the clear IT investment priority in 2013, as retail banks attempt to capitalize on the features unique to mobile, such as location-based services. Ovum’s forecasts show the Other Channels including mobile banking, will grow 7.5 percent in Asia-Pacific in 2013, and rise at a compound annual growth rate of 8.2 percent between 2013 and 2017. Overall, spending on online channels in this region (including traditional online banking services and mobile-browser-based banking services) is also set to grow 7.5 percent in 2013. In parallel, to compete in the digital world, a number of retail banks will shift their ‘bricks and mortar’ marketing activities online.

Elsewhere, Ovum’s Business Trends report reveals that fraud detection and liquidity risk management will become key regulatory compliance drivers of IT spending in 2013, with global investment into Management Information Systems predicted to reach US$6.4bn over the course of the year, and US$1.5bn of spending in Asia-Pacific alone. This accounts for 6.3 percent of overall IT spending by Asia-Pacific banks.

“The optimistic signs on the economic horizon are driving the shift away from cost-cutting and towards investment strategies within the retail banking sector. Whilst regulatory compliance has certainly fuelled a significant amount of the investment predicted in the forecast, it is by no means the sole driver,” said Jaroslaw Knapik, Senior Analyst, Financial Services Technology at Ovum. He believes that the level of investment in digital channels gives a clear indication that banks are fully cognizant of the growing expectations of their customers, as well as the opportunities they present.