Despite ongoing economic turmoil, global spending on retail banking technology will increase by $3.6 billion - 3.2% - in 2012, and will hit $135 billion over the next five years, according to analyst house Ovum.
Asia Pacific will lead the way in growth, spending $10.2 billion in 2012, 8.3% up on the previous year. In contrast Western Europe will see the slowest growth, just 1.9%, although it is still the second biggest market, behind North America, spending $44 billion.
Ovum says that much of the spending is being driven by banks' determination to return to pre-recession revenue levels by investing in channel technology to boost customer trust and increase sales and servicing effectiveness.
Globally, online banking is expected to be the fastest growing area in 2012, with spending rising 5.3% to hit $8.3 billion by year end. Not far behind is the newer channel, mobile, where spending will rise five per cent, reaching $3.3 billion.
Retail banks will invest in these areas in parallel to investments in channel integration and customer information systems, an increase of 4.2% in 2012 globally, hitting $5.6 billion the same year.
This is due to the fact that technologies that allow "smarter" selling and servicing, such as customer analytics and customer data management, are expected to remain hot areas in the near future, claims Ovum.
Another consequence of the economic crisis is increased spending on risk and compliance technology. Global spending on various middle-office components based on these technologies, such as risk management, anti-fraud, compliance, and performance management, will experience growth of 4.6%, hitting $6.1 billion by the end of 2012 and $7.6 billion over the next five years.
Regulatory demands are also forcing banks to invest in their core systems as they seek to find new business models. This will lead to an increase of core banking technology spending by 2.5% globally to reach $19 billion this year, and $22.5 billion over the five-year timeframe, predicts Ovum.
ING CEO Jan Hommen lent some credence to Ovum's assessment at a presentation to analysts in Holland today: "We need to move beyond simple cost cuts and focus on achieving true operational excellence, helping our customers obtain simple products through convenient and safe multi-channel access while at the same time streamlining our organisation and systems."
Procurement initiatives are expected to save EUR 300 million per year by 2015 but further structural efficiency improvements and IT investments will be needed to reach ING's long term cost-income ratio target of 50%, says Hommen.