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: embedded secure elements. 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

Embedded secure elements is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Embedded secure elements refer to dedicated hardware components embedded within a mobile device or other electronic devices that provide secure storage and processing of sensitive data. These secure elements are designed to protect confidential information, such as payment credentials, authentication tokens, and encryption keys, from unauthorized access and tampering.

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established banking companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of embedded secure elements.

Key players in embedded secure elements – 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 embedded secure elements

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Headwater Research 165 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 156 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 107 Unlock Company Profile
Stream 104 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 103 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 103 Unlock Company Profile
Headwater Partners I 92 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal 85 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 83 Unlock Company Profile
Blaze Mobile 77 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 76 Unlock Company Profile
Kajeet 71 Unlock Company Profile
INRIX 55 Unlock Company Profile
Illumio 53 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 52 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 48 Unlock Company Profile
Neology 45 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 45 Unlock Company Profile
Cisco Systems 44 Unlock Company Profile 42 Unlock Company Profile
LocatorX 42 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 38 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 37 Unlock Company Profile
FreeLinc 34 Unlock Company Profile
Monticello Enterprises 29 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 25 Unlock Company Profile
eBay 23 Unlock Company Profile
Tendyron 22 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 22 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 18 Unlock Company Profile
American Express 17 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 17 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 16 Unlock Company Profile
Cubic 16 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 14 Unlock Company Profile
Wells Fargo 13 Unlock Company Profile
ZTE 13 Unlock Company Profile
Princo 13 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 13 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Goodix Technology 11 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 10 Unlock Company Profile
Eagency 10 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 10 Unlock Company Profile
MC Familiengesellschaft 10 Unlock Company Profile
Stripe 9 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 9 Unlock Company Profile
Akamai Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile
Vodafone Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Allegion 8 Unlock Company Profile
Thomson Reuters 8 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in embedded secure elements, Headwater Research is one of the leading patent filers. Some of the patents filed by the company are related to hardware partition techniques such as secure memory, modems, memory partitions in the central processing unit (CPU) to provide secure execution environment for device assisted services so that unauthorized program elements on the device cannot alter the device assisted service agent code or operation.

Visa, Capital One Financial, and Stream are some of the other key patent filers in this space.

In terms of application diversity, INRIX held the top position, while Illumio and Eagency stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Stream leads the pack, followed by Blaze Mobile and Kajeet.

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.