The banking and payments industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation owing to ever changing consumer expectations. The rapid technological developments in the areas of banking and payments that aim to offer seamless experience to consumers are now becoming even more vital for industry participants as competitors leverage new technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and embedded finance as they compete to stay relevant and grow in the market.. In the last three years alone, there have been over 92,000 patents filed and granted in the banking industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in Banking: AI-assisted OCR

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

60+ innovations will shape the banking industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the banking industry using innovation intensity models built on over 195,000 patents, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, AI-assisted OCR is a disruptive technology that is in the early stage of application and should be tracked closely. Transaction splitting, automated payment card scanning, and automated clearing houses are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is metadata extraction for payments, which is now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the banking industry 

AI-assisted OCR is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence 

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a form of technology that identifies the characters such as numbers and letters present in an image. Banks use OCR technology for various purposes such as validating customer identity, bank account numbers, cheques, and other important documents. Artificial intelligence (AI)-backed OCR presents more accurate information. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established banking companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted OCR. 

Key players in AI-assisted OCR – a disruptive innovation in the banking industry 

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to AI-assisted OCR

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Capital One Financial 85 Unlock company profile
Digimarc 73 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 64 Unlock company profile
Memjet Technology 64 Unlock company profile
Broadcom 40 Unlock company profile
Zamtec 23 Unlock company profile
PayPal Holdings 22 Unlock company profile
Metrologic Instruments 20 Unlock company profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 15 Unlock company profile
Block 14 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 14 Unlock company profile
Worldline 10 Unlock company profile
Vivo Communication Technology 9 Unlock company profile
RTC Quaterion Group 9 Unlock company profile
Bank of America 8 Unlock company profile
Honeywell International 8 Unlock company profile
NIKE 6 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 5 Unlock company profile
JD.com 5 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 5 Unlock company profile
JPMorgan Chase 5 Unlock company profile
Cubic 5 Unlock company profile
Walmart 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Capital One Financial is one of the leading patent filers in the AI-assisted OCR sector. The financial institution has a patent filed for a solution that eliminates deformations contained in the document using the instructions from the machine learning system. Some other key patent filers in this space include Digimarc, Memjet Technology, Alphabet, and Broadcom. 

In terms of application diversity, Alphabet leads the pack, while Zamtec and Memjet Technology stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, PayPal holds the top position, followed by Vivo Communication Technology and Honeywell International. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the banking industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Banking.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.