Central and Eastern European Banks Lead Innovation across Europe

London - 24 January 2011

Infosys Technologies Ltd and the European Financial Marketing Association (Efma) today announced the release of its second annual study on Innovation in Retail Banking.

Five key dimensions of banking innovation were evaluated by the study – product, process, channel, customer relationship management and customer experience.

The key findings include:

• Innovation Index: Banks in Central & Eastern Europe, closely followed by those in the Middle East and Africa, are deemed the most innovative. Western European banks emerged the least innovative, and the index shows a decline in their innovation scores from 2009.
• 61% of all surveyed banks have increased their level of investment in innovation in 2010, while only 11% decreased their level of investment.

• Customer Focused Innovation: New approaches such as crowdsourcing and customer insight-driven product and service development, are being adopted to bring the customer into the innovation process. Mobile banking and payments is a clear innovation focus area for banks.
• In addition to the conventional drivers of innovation - technology and competition, user insight is enabling banks to create solutions that promise unique individual experiences.

• IT Innovation Enabler: 80% of all surveyed banks see IT as a key enabler of innovation. However, less than 50% of the banks say they are leaders in the use of IT for innovation. Banks believe the relationship between business and IT departments is the biggest implementation challenge.
• On average across regions, two thirds of banks believe that inflexible IT is a barrier to innovation; however, 90% of these are investing to increase their flexibility.

Haragopal Mangipudi, Global Head - Finacle, Infosys Technologies said: “While the strategic importance of innovation for banks has been established, a clear vision and approach for strategic innovation are still quite rare. The study has also shed light on new approaches to co-creation of products with customers. Finacle is committed to the task of partnering banks – all the way - to drive their innovation priorities.”

Patrick Desmarès, Secretary General, Efma, added: “Innovation has grown as a priority for banks, and this is supported by increasing investments. There are numerous new examples of product, channel and process innovations, as well as cases of banks adopting innovative business models. Bankers across regions agree that innovation is the key to both efficiency and growth.”
Additional Information
• 145 banks across 50 countries in EMEA participated in the survey.

Efma

The European Financial Marketing Association is a non-profit making association, formed in 1971 by bankers and insurers. Today, its members include over 80% of Europe’s largest retail financial institutions. Efma provides a professional forum that enables members to share experiences; promote best practices; and collaborate through alliances and partnerships. This is complemented by regular events, councils, detailed studies, a journal and a comprehensive website, packed with information and news.

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