The banking industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, enhanced security, operational efficiency, ever changing consumer expectations, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity. In the last three years alone, there have been over 129,000 patents filed and granted in the banking industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in banking: decentralized finance (defi). Buy the report here.

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 stabilizing 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.

30+ 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 165,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, distributed ledger transactions, is a disruptive technology that is in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Voice-based authentication, geofenced transactions, and embedded secure elements are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the banking industry

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to a financial system built on top of blockchain technology that eliminates intermediaries like banks and brokerages. DeFi utilizes smart contracts to automate financial transactions, provide transparency, and improve efficiency.

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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established banking companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of decentralized finance (Defi).

Key players in decentralized finance (Defi) – a disruptive innovation in the banking industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to decentralized finance (Defi)

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Advanced New Technologies 147 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 90 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 45 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 41 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 31 Unlock Company Profile
Ripple Labs 30 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 22 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 18 Unlock Company Profile
Coinplug 18 Unlock Company Profile
R3 15 Unlock Company Profile
Templum 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 13 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
ShapeShift 9 Unlock Company Profile
nChain 8 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 8 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 7 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 7 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Royal Bank of Canada 5 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 5 Unlock Company Profile
Alitheon 4 Unlock Company Profile 4 Unlock Company Profile
First Datacorp 4 Unlock Company Profile
Meditor European Master Fund 4 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) 4 Unlock Company Profile
MonetaGo 4 Unlock Company Profile
Rokfin 4 Unlock Company Profile
Avaya 4 Unlock Company Profile 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 3 Unlock Company Profile
The Goldman Sachs Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 3 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 3 Unlock Company Profile
Blockstream 3 Unlock Company Profile
Digital Asset 3 Unlock Company Profile
Nice 3 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 3 Unlock Company Profile
Fiserv 3 Unlock Company Profile
EYGS 3 Unlock Company Profile
Jiko Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
The Bank of New York Mellon 3 Unlock Company Profile
CME Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
PricewaterhouseCoopers International 3 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 3 Unlock Company Profile
Sonect 2 Unlock Company Profile
Transparent Financial Systems 2 Unlock Company Profile
Woodenshark 2 Unlock Company Profile
Agora AltX 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Advanced New Technologies is one of the leading patent filers in technologies associated with decentralized finance. The company filed several patents related to distributed ledger technologies including methods and systems of establishing communication between different blockchain networks, creating and mapping decentralized identifiers to real-world entities, implementing contracts through blockchain-based cross entity authentication, and issuing verifiable claims for decentralized identifiers.

Toronto-Dominion Bank, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, and Bank of America are some of the other prominent patent filers in DeFi.

In terms of application diversity, held the top position, while Meditor European Master Fund and Digital Asset Holdings stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Toronto-Dominion Bank leads the pack, followed by Ripple Labs and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance.

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

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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.