Retail financial institutions are preparing to increase their spending on technology and IT staff in the coming year in an effort to meet the rising expectations and demands of customers and regulators.
A Finextra Research survey of 76 senior IT decision-makers at retail financial institutions worldwide finds a large increase in the number of retail finance organisations expecting a rise in IT budgets for next year, with more than half looking to invest more in 2005.
And while contractors are being allocated a greater share of available work, almost half of all organisations are also looking to expand their internal IT teams.
Breaking the technology budget down into functional areas shows a fairly even split between compliance and IT infrastructure on the one hand, and channels and customer-facing technology on the other.
The Internet remains the primary channel for investment, closely followed by branches and call centres, but mobile devices are also growing in importance.
Of specific compliance issues, anti-money laundering has been identified by respondents as a priority, and across all areas of compliance there is a trend to look beyond the system and process requirements to find ways that compliance can also add value externally to product and service quality.
The full report, Retail Finance Technology Strategies 2005, will be distributed at Finextra's second annual Finexpo Retail Finance Technology conference and exhibition, www.finexpo.com/rft/
, which will take place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, central London on Tuesday 14 September. Organised by Finextra Research, this annual one-day event comprises a seminar programme and an exhibition covering the most important IT and business issues facing senior executives from the retail financial services industry.
Order your copy of the report: Retail Financial Technology Strategies 2005