FIS, which has more than $6 billion in annual revenue and 39,000 employees, operates an internal think tank called "Bold Rocket." The group is tasked with imagining what banking and payments will look like in the future and coming up with ideas for future products.
"We start with the question of, why does a financial institution need to exist in 10 years," said Gary Norcross, the Jacksonville, Fla. company's president and chief operating officer, who will become chief executive officer in January.
The company says it reinvests 5-6% of its annual revenue into research and development. It also tracks between 200 and 300 early-stage companies in the fintech market each year, looking for opportunities to invest or acquire.
Digital products, including online banking and electronic payments, have been "really hot across all markets," Norcross said. The company's compliance and risk management group has also expanded.
And the rise in EMV-chip technology has boosted the company's credit and debit card business. "We're actually seeing growth very nice growth around our plastics," he said. "EMV is becoming a big catalyst."
The company in May launched FIS Instant Card, a cloud-based product that lets financial institutions produce EMV-chip cards when customers open new accounts.
Norcross says next year FIS plans to make big moves in digital payments, following its recent acquisition of Belgium-based payment processor Clear2Pay. It also plans to grow its risk management business, as banks prepare for regulatory scrutiny over fraud, security and vendor relationships. "We know that the regulators are looking very seriously at how these financial institutions do due diligence," Norcross says. Kristin Broughton