We All Can Be Trendspotters

We All Can Be Trendspotters
As the festive season approaches, this is the time of the year when Celent analysts reflect on what kept us busy through the year and what the future might hold for the next 12 months in our respective coverage areas. We usually publish the results of this thinking and analysis in various trends reports – from Top Trends in Banking to Top Trends in Payments to IT Spending. And we seem to strike a chord with our clients – these reports always tend to rank highly in our “most downloaded” lists. I had the pleasure of attending a very interesting event in London yesterday afternoon. Intelligent Environments, a digital banking software company, was launching Interact, its new platform for “connecting money to people.” It was great to learn more about the new solution and to discuss with the company where digital banking and payments are heading. No one disputes anymore that digital channels have become critical for retail banks. However, one statistic stood out and was probably unexpected to many people in the room – according to the latest research by IE and YouGov, 51% of UK consumers now see digital channels as the primary driver of their bank loyalty, even ahead of customer service. Another highlight of the day was the guest keynote speaker, Magnus Lindkvist, who was introduced as “Trendspotter & Futurist.” Unlike some of the other futurists who predict that soon we will be walking with chips in our heads, Magnus wasn’t making any predictions at all. Instead, he talked about how difficult it is to spot some of the trends and what companies can do if they want to not just compete (i.e. offer slightly better/ cheaper products/ services), but to genuinely create something new and innovative. The answer is experimentation (although increasingly difficult to do in risk-averse and compliance-driven environments), failure recycling (e.g. not all dot com ideas were bad), and (perhaps the hardest one of all), patience & persistence. Magnus is an incredibly engaging speaker and it was an hour filled with wonderful examples and memorable quotes, such as “technology needs to become boring to change the world” and “we are the last generation to believe connectivity is special.” No one can predict the future, but all of us can tune our antennas better to increase our chances of catching that next big trend. Have you spotted a new trend in banking or payments? Let us know – we would love to hear from you!    

Bank IT Spending and Trends: What Does 2012 Look Like?

Bank IT Spending and Trends: What Does 2012 Look Like?
The new year brings lots of questions, planning and decision making. IT spending is tied directly to these elements, and as in past years, we have been receiving a truckload of IT spending questions. After a rocky few years folks are curious as to if the figures are on the uptick in 2012. The short answer is yes, but growth rates are down in all regions, and some regions are doing better than others. The long answer, well, you will have to read the reports! Here is a quick snippet from, IT Spending in Banking: A Global Perspective (published yesterday):
Total bank IT spending across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific will grow to US$173.3 billion in 2012. This spending level is approximately 2.8% higher than 2011. This is a discouraging but not surprising indicator that IT spending growth is slightly on the decline. The good news is that a slight turnaround is in sight.
We have published a series of four reports this month that are relevant to all organizations: – IT Spending in Banking: A Global PerspectiveIT Spending in Banking: A North American PerspectiveTop Trends in Banking 2012Top Trends in Payments: A Year In Review Happy reading!

Bank IT Spending and Trends: What Does 2011 Look Like?

Bank IT Spending and Trends: What Does 2011 Look Like?
The new year brings lots of questions, planning and decision making. IT spending is tied directly to these elements, and as in past years, we have been receiving a truckload of IT spending questions. After a rough couple of years folks are curious as to if the figures are on the uptick in 2011. The short answer is yes. The long answer, well, you will have to read the reports! Here is a quick snippet from, IT Spending in Financial Services: A Global Perspective (published earlier today):
Global information technology spending by financial services institutions is expected to reach US$363.8 billion in 2011, an increase of 3.7% over 2010. This figure is substantially higher than the lackluster 2.5% growth increase experienced in 2010. Growth rates are starting to climb across most regions and IT products and services should grow to US$393 billion by 2013, a 3.9% CAGR from 2011 to 2013.
We have published a series of 5 reports this month that are relevant to all organizations: – IT Spending in Financial Services: A Global Perspective – IT Spending in Banking: A North American PerspectiveTop Trends in Corporate Banking: Asia, Europe, and North AmericaTop Trends in Retail Banking: Asia, Europe, and North AmericaTop Trends in Payments 2011: A Year In Review Happy reading!

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Light at the end of the tunnel?
We are gathering Celent analysts from across the globe for our annual global off site at Celent. ideas around top trends in both Retail and Corporate Banking seem to take on a new tenor this year. No longer are cost reduction and risk the top priorities. Many other growth-oriented initiatives have percolated up to the top of the lists. Multichannel still remains on the top three list from mobile banking to mobile payments across the globe to mobile Remote Deposit Capture in the US. Payments are now moving to the fore. Whether it be mobile payments, P2P, or prepaid, banks across the globe are looking closely at these as a way to ensure customer loyalty or perhaps even generate profit. Banks are facing increasing complexity, whether it be across channels or lines of business. Between channel proliferation, customer profitability, and risk, many are finding that they need to take an enterprise view of architecture and have enterprise needs take a more important place in IT. Whether the discussion is around Payment Service Hubs (PSH), Enterprise Service Buses (ESB), Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), or Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDW), bankers are thinking about their business more holistically. These three themes seem to cover the majority of our top trends this year, which is a refreshing change from recent years. These initiatives are about growing the business, offering customers more choice or better choices rather than reducing losses, collecting debts, and cutting cost. I look forward to this new, more proactive attitude around banking in 2011.

What to watch for in payments in 2011?

What to watch for in payments in 2011?
This time of the year is always good for reflection and looking forward. I have also been reflecting on the payments issues we have been dealing with at Celent in 2010 and what is likely to be important in 2011. The good news for consumer is that payments innovation continues apace. The card schemes are competing more fiercely than ever; PayPal and prepaid cards have gone mainstream, leaving the other newer, smaller, more niche players to shape the space of ‘alternative’ payments. There is finally a real acceleration towards mobile contactless payments in the developed markets, although for now, mobile banking (rather than mobile payments) remains the main type of financial transactions over the mobile device. While some of these developments are clearly global, others have a distinct regional or even country-specific flavour. The big news in the US in 2010 was the Frank-Dodd act, and specifically for the payments industry, the section that dealt with debit card interchange. This is poised to fundamentally reshape the economics not only for the US debit cards, but potentially for the checking accounts as well. In Europe, the harmonisation journey (SEPA, PSD, etc.) continues with mixed success. At the wholesale end of the spectrum, small and medium enterprises (SME) have more choice when meeting their payment needs – various non-bank competitors are active in the B2B space, offering various e-invoicing and international payment solutions. Finally, the concept of payment services hubs is getting a widespread recognition as the way forward for banks seeking to upgrade their payment infrastructures. While more work is needed to agree on the terminology, the vendor solutions are maturing and offer banks credible options when designing a payment services hub. We will continue to watch many of these developments throughout 2011. What other things do you have in mind? What payments-related topics would you like us to investigate and what reports would you like to see coming out in 2011? Happy New Year! P.S. If you would like to read about these trends in more detail, watch out for our upcoming report Top Trends in Payments 2011, due imminently.