APAC Corporate Banking IT Priorities and Strategy in 2023

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29 August 2023

Leveraging process automation, AI, and digital experience to transform banking products


Corporate Banking IT spending continues to grow strongly as global economies shake off the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic and banking industry challenges. However, there are clear differences in budget trends across the region. On one hand, there are mature, developed markets with established banking infrastructure (and technologies to match). On the other hand, Southeast Asia has a preponderance of fast-growing economies and growth-minded policies, enabled by the cross-border integration of real time payments systems

To shed light on the strategic and product-level technology priorities of the industry, Celent has once again run its Technology Insight and Strategy Survey. In capturing the insights and opinions of 214 senior executives across Corporate Banking globally, we have a granular view on the leading technology priorities for the year ahead, as well as the products and processes that will see the greatest change. In this report, we analyze the responses from 46 Corporate Banking executives in APAC.

Selected key findings include:

  • Budgets in APACbanksare growing faster than regional (4.1%) and global (4.4%) growth averages for developed markets, except in Japan and Singapore. Both countries lag regionally and globally (although Singapore looks like it will outpace Japan this year and next). India, Hong Kong, and Australia lead the wayin terms of budget increases – and look to extend those increases going into 2024.
  • Banks across APAC are spending 51% of budget on “change the bank” initiatives. This is the only region to exceed 50% in this category. Smaller banks have higher budget allocations for growth than larger banks that are encumbered with a higher percentage of “run the bank” costs.
  • Speed and agility are highly-ranked drivers, but the established, larger banks in developed markets have an overhang of compliance, efficiency, and cost reduction initiatives. They are more encumbered by multi-country, complex operations, regulation, and supporting technology, and willallocate up to 6% less to “change the bank” initiatives compared to small, more nimblecompetitors.
  • As with global trends – Product Innovation and Agility and Speed to Market are pervasive themes, but in larger banks and mature markets they struggle to break through compliance and cost reduction drivers.
  • Blockchain remains important, especially to support trade services initiatives. 74% of banks in APAC stated they have seen successful adoption and revenue generation from their blockchain investments.
  • In terms of business and product priorities, there is a clear leader with 46% of banks ranking Trade Services and Supply Chain Finance as a top three priority.