capital spending is due to increase among banks in 2013, and IT will be the number-one recipient of the new cash, according to a recent survey conducted by American Banker Research.
Among the 300 bank executives polled in December, 33% expected to increase capital spending in 2013, 17% expected to decrease spending, and 50% expected spending to stay the same. This is positive, but somewhat to be expected; the economy is gradually turning around, the elections are over, a bit of optimism is returning to this country.
The eye-opening aspect result of this research came in the next question, where we asked what this fresh money will be spent on. Information technology was to be the top beneficiary, the recipient of increased investment by 80% of those that are loosening the purse strings. The next two categories for spending are "new products and services," which 46% of respondents vowed to spend more on, and regulatory compliance, which is to get new funding at 37% of the banks represented.
And within IT, where is the investment going? To mobile banking initiatives, say 57% of these executives. Security is cited next, by 52%. Online banking is a close third, with 46% saying they plan to spend more in that area.
In their mobile banking projects, these bankers are working on offering remote deposit capture (55%), mobile payments (49%) and consumer smartphone/tablet apps (46%).
When we asked further about security technology investments, we found that 70% of those increasing spending in this category plan to beef up network security. About 58% will work on mobile banking security and 57% on online banking security. Fraud detection software is next, with 39% saying they will make more effort there.
All of this, of course, is good news for bank technologists and the vendors that serve them. Next up, we believe, will be cloud computing, which is being adopted very slowly but surely in the financial services industry.