Retail Banking Research Outlook 2022

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Leading in the Uncertain World: Our 2022 Research Themes in Action

Last year, we introduced our 2021 research themes under the header of “leading in the post-pandemic world”. Unfortunately, we were too optimistic – just as we thought we were getting to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was plunged into further turmoil by the war in Ukraine. The humanitarian crisis, the rising energy costs and overall inflation, and of course, the ongoing pandemic mean more uncertainty than ever.

For retail and corporate banks, this uncertainty is both a challenge and an opportunity, as customers seek support, advice, and reassurance. By guiding customers through the uncertainty and helping tackle some of the big issues facing economies, the sector can gain a strong sense of purpose, grow the bottom line, and ensure its ongoing relevance. But to deliver this change, banks need a new mindset and capabilities, not the least in technology.

In our new series of previsory[1] reports, we outlined retail banking technology priorities for 2022 under five themes – see a figure on the next page. These five themes also guide our research agenda for 2022, in both retail and corporate banking:

  • Optimizing Customer Engagement and Delivery: our research consistently shows that banks still have a lot of work to do to optimize the way they engage with customers, from selling and onboarding to servicing and retention. Delivering the best possible experience in a cost-efficient way through the most appropriate combination of digital and human-assisted interactions requires the right set of tools, for both customers and bank employees. One of our new reports dives deeply into Retail Banking Intelligent Virtual Assistant Platforms.
  • Embracing Disruptive Imperatives in Payments and Lending: the payments industry continues to change rapidly, and banks need to be ready to support new payment experiences for their customers. Yet, many banks are hampered by legacy technologies and are looking to transform their payments infrastructures. Given the relentless disruption and innovation in cards, we are examining in our latest report if the bank card issuers are experiencing the “End of History” moment and what they can do to reclaim leadership. Similarly, in lending, we believe now is the right time for financial institutions to reexamine solutions across the entire credit lifecycle.
  • Taking an Ecosystem Approach to Growth: one of the hottest topics in 2021 was embedded finance, with banks and technology vendors examining new market opportunities and threats presented by an increasingly open ecosystem. We will continue to monitor market developments in banking-as-a-service, open banking, marketplace, and other approaches, and will seek to guide our clients’ strategies. Would You Like Better Banking with That Latte? is the latest example of insights produced in this area.
  • Driving Product Innovation and Differentiation: the pandemic served as a timely reminder – if one was needed – of the important role banks play in supporting their local communities, and the opportunity for banks to innovate and differentiate by addressing the unique needs of various customer segments. To support clients in this area, we published a Solution Brief on SunTec Xelerate: Helping Banks Adopt Customer-Centric Product Strategies. This quarter we released the first two reports based on our new research on IT Spending by financial institutions: IT Strategy and Priorities in Retail Banking, 2022, and Retail Bank IT Strategy in North America, 2022. Climate change is another topic going straight to the top of the banks’ agenda. Finally, we’ll keep an eye on how the cryptosphere and decentralized finance continues to evolve and what it might mean for retail banks.
  • Diversifying Technology Transformation Toolkit: none of the above opportunities would be possible without transforming the technology estate. We’ll continue to research and guide our clients how cloud, low code/ no code platforms, and other technology tools and solutions can help financial institutions in their digital transformation journeys. We also continued with the popular video interview series focusing on cloud and core banking and plan to publish a series of research reports on core banking vendors in Q2.

Finally, as our long-standing clients know, the big focus for us in Q1 is announcing our Model Bank winners, which we did this year on March 16th as part of our annual Innovation and Insight event. We recognized 18 award-winning initiatives, which cover topics across all five themes. The case studies of each initiative are available to download for Celent Retail or Corporate Banking research clients, depending on the initiative’s focus.

As always, we’ll look to be nimble and respond to fast-moving developments in our research space. So, if you have a hot topic in mind, where our research could add value to your organization, please get in touch, and we’ll endeavor to incorporate it into our research agenda for the rest of 2022.

[1] A combination of pre-view and ad-visory, a view of financial services technology trends that our clients should have on their radar.


In 2022, we will continue to deliver different types of insights, from analysis of technology trends shaping the banking industry to case studies documenting best practices, and from panel-driven insights to analysis of vendor solutions. The list below is indicative of the types of research we are planning to conduct and expected timeframes, but it’s not exhaustive. For example, we are publishing Solution Briefs based on interesting updates we receive from industry players throughout the year, but there’s no way to predict what those topics will be.

Industry Trends and Case Studies

  • Model Bank case studies from around the world (Q1 - published)
  • Retail Banking Previsory 2022 (Q4)
  • Customer engagement
  • Cards and digital payments
  • Consumer lending, including mortgages
  • Cloud, AI, data, APIs
  • Open banking, embedded finance, Banking-as-a-Service

Polls, Panels, and Primers

  • IT Spending (Q1/Q2)
  • Asia-Pacific IT Priorities (Q3)
  • Digital Panel Series – throughout the year


  • Intelligent Virtual Assistants (Q1)
  • Core Banking (Q2)
  • Retail Banking Digital Channels, Global and NA editions (Q3)
  • Solutions for Open Banking (Q3)
  • Card Issuing Platforms (Q3)
  • Various solution briefs

Contact us for more information about what we have planned in Q2.

If you are a client, please sign in to access a full view of our Q2 2022 agenda.