Banks in Emerging Markets Investing Ambitiously to Gain Innovation Leadership: Infosys, Efma Study

Bangalore and Paris – October 29, 2014

Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing, today announced the launch of its Innovation in Retail Banking 2014 report. The sixth annual study, commissioned by Infosys and conducted by Efma, surveyed over 100 retail banks around the world. The latest report has revealed that more banks in fast growing and rapidly developing markets display greater ambition for becoming innovation leaders in delivering superior customer value. They do this by investing more in research and development, compared to their peers in mature markets.

The study also revealed that banks across the globe, especially from more mature economies, are increasing their innovation investments in 2014 compared to 2013 to keep pace with increasing customer expectations and respond to new market entrants. While new competitors include established technology companies and telcos, there is increasing collaboration with start-up companies to help drive innovation in banks.


  • Banks in emerging middle income and relatively high growth countries (such as Brazil, India, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey) are more likely on average to have an innovation strategy, to be aiming to become innovation leaders, and to be investing in R&D
  • Banks are most concerned by the threat from technology companies entering the market (for example Google, Apple and Facebook). The threat from this type of competitor was rated high by 45 percent of banks and has increased in the last 12 months. After technology companies, the most significant threat is perceived to come from telcos and from start-ups
  • As part of their innovation strategies, 26 percent of banks surveyed are investing in start-ups
  • Globally, 84 percent of banks are increasing investment in innovation as compared to 2009, when only 13 percent of banks increased investment
  • 61 percent of banks indicated they have an innovation strategy, a significant increase from 37 percent in 2009
  • 49 percent of banks are aiming to be innovation leaders in their markets, whereas 38 percent of banks are content to be fast followers
  • Channels continues to be the area attracting most investments with 89 percent of banks increasing their investments in this area
  • Many banks organize their innovation activities around specific themes. “Mobility” is currently the most important theme with 88 percent of banks rating the importance as “high”. Closely following that are the themes of “Big Data” (67 percent) and “Social Channels” (63 percent)
  • Over 70 percent of banks perceive mobile payments and services on multiple devices to be of high importance for delivering customer value in the mobile channel
  • For the online channel, automated account origination and personalization of marketing offers are considered to be of high importance by 70 percent and 59 percent of banks respectively


Michael Reh, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Finacle at Infosys:
“In times of continued pressure on profitability, there is no letup in the demand from customers for innovative products and services. One interesting finding of this year’s report is that many banks in rapidly growing emerging markets, who are used to generating profits from customers with smaller transaction values, are at the forefront of innovation in retail banking. Lessons on innovation from these banks could be extremely valuable to financial institutions around the world as they compete with new players in the market.”

Patrick Desmarès, Secretary General at Efma:
"This year's global retail banking study indicates more banks are adopting formal innovation practices and developing their approach to open innovation. However, there are still a large number of banks which do not seem to have good basic practices, so there is plenty of room for improvement. Working closely with start-ups is becoming more common and we believe this is a positive trend. Interestingly, it is the banks in fast growing and rapidly developing markets that are still leading the way and showing more ambition.”

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About Efma

As a global not-for-profit organization, Efma brings together more than 3,300 retail financial services companies from over 130 countries. With a membership base consisting of almost a third of all large retail banks worldwide, Efma has proven to be a valuable resource for the global industry, offering members exclusive access to a multitude of resources, databases, studies, articles, news feeds and publications. Efma also provides numerous networking opportunities through working groups, online communities and international meetings. (


About Infosys

Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions. We enable clients, in more than 50 countries, to stay a step ahead of emerging business trends and outperform the competition. We help them transform and thrive in a changing world by co-creating breakthrough solutions that combine strategic insights and execution excellence.

Visit to see how Infosys (NYSE: INFY), with US$8.25 billion in annual revenues and 165,000+ employees, is Building Tomorrow's Enterprise® today.


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