Why are Banks Always the Last to Adopt Technology?

Gyan Consulting
7 min readMar 14, 2023

The financial services industry has seen a rapid transformation in recent years due to the emergence of fintech and the increasing prevalence of new technologies. Despite this, banks have been known to lag behind in adopting these new technologies. This blog outlines strategies that banks can use to successfully adopt new blockchain technologies and remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry. Overall, this blog aims to provide a technical perspective on the challenges and opportunities that banks face when it comes to adopting new technologies.

Banking Industry’s Approach to Technology Adoption

Many traditional banks rely on core banking systems that were developed decades ago. These systems are complex and difficult to upgrade, which can make it challenging for banks to adopt new technologies. Additionally, these systems are often siloed, making it difficult to integrate new technologies and systems.

  • Mobile Banking

Mobile banking has been around for many years, but some traditional banks have been slow to adopt this technology. Some banks have been hesitant to invest in mobile banking due to concerns about security, while others have struggled to integrate mobile banking into their existing systems.

  • Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can offer banks cost savings, scalability, and improved security. However, many banks have been hesitant to move their data to the cloud due to concerns about security and compliance.

Market Insights

Technavio estimates that the global banking as a service market will experience significant growth, with a projected increase of USD 21,806.94 million from 2023 to 2027. The market is anticipated to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.62% during the forecast period. In 2023, North America had the largest share of the global market, and the region is expected to experience further growth, with an estimated incremental growth of 38%. [https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/banking-as-a-service-market-2023-2027-a-descriptive-analysis-of-the-five-forces-model-market-dynamics-and-segmentation—technavio-301721116.html]

The Challenges of Technology Adoption in Banking

Banks are often seen as lagging behind in blockchain technology adoption, and there are several reasons for this:

  • Legacy systems

Many banks are burdened with outdated technology systems, which can be difficult and expensive to update or replace. This can make it challenging to integrate new technologies with existing systems and can slow down the adoption process.

Legacy systems can be a significant barrier to technology adoption for several reasons:

  • Compatibility:

Legacy systems may not be compatible with modern technology, making it difficult to integrate new systems and applications.

For example,

A bank may want to adopt a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, but the legacy system may not be able to integrate with the new system, requiring a significant overhaul of the entire architecture.

Diagnostic:

Banks can overcome this challenge by gradually replacing outdated systems with newer, more flexible technology solutions. This can be done through a phased approach that minimizes disruption to existing processes.

Regulatory compliance

Banks operate in a heavily regulated environment and must comply with strict rules and regulations when it comes to adopting new technologies. This can lead to lengthy approval processes and can slow down the adoption of new technologies. Here are some specific challenges:

  • Anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations

Banks are required to comply with AML and KYC regulations, which are designed to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. Any blockchain technology that banks adopt must be able to comply with these regulations and ensure that customer identities are verified and transactions are monitored for suspicious activity.

Diagnostic:

Banks can overcome this challenge by working closely with regulators to ensure that new technologies comply with existing regulations. They can also leverage regulatory sandboxes or innovation labs to test and refine new technologies before rolling them out to customers.

Security

Banks are responsible for protecting sensitive financial data and must ensure that any new technologies they adopt are secure and comply with industry standards. This can be challenging, as new blockchain technologies can bring new security risks. Here are some specific challenges:

  • Compliance with security standards

Banks are subject to a range of security standards, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. Banks need to ensure that any new technology they adopt is compliant with these standards and that they have a plan in place to maintain compliance over time.

  • Third-party risk

Banks may also be exposed to security risks from third-party vendors, such as cloud providers or software vendors. Banks need to ensure that any third-party vendors they work with have appropriate security measures in place and that they have a plan in place to manage third-party risks.

Diagnostic:

Banks can overcome this challenge by implementing strong security protocols and standards for blockchain technologies. This can include using encryption and multi-factor authentication and conducting regular security audits.

Complexity

Banking systems can be complex, with many different systems and processes that need to work together seamlessly. Adopting new technologies can add another layer of complexity to these systems, which can be difficult to manage. Here are some challenges

  • Integration with existing systems

Banks have a range of different systems in place, including core banking systems, payment systems, and customer relationship management systems. Any new technology that banks adopt must be able to integrate with these systems, which can be challenging given the complexity of these systems.

  • Customization

Banks have unique business processes and requirements, which may require customization of any new technology that they adopt. This customization can add complexity and cost to the adoption process.

Diagnostic:

Banks can overcome this challenge by simplifying their systems, consolidating their technology platforms, and leveraging cloud-based solutions. They can also use automation and AI to streamline processes and reduce complexity.

Testing and integration

Adopting new technologies requires extensive testing and integration with existing systems, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Banks must ensure that new technologies work well with their existing systems and that any issues are addressed quickly and efficiently.

  • Testing

Banks need to ensure that any new technology they adopt is thoroughly tested to ensure that it functions properly and meets their requirements. This can be challenging, as banks often have complex systems and processes that require comprehensive testing.

  • Integration

Banks need to ensure that any new enterprise blockchain technology they adopt can be integrated into their existing systems and processes. This requires a deep understanding of the bank’s systems and processes, as well as the ability to customize the new technology to fit with these systems and processes.

  • Interoperability

Banks may need to ensure that any new technology they adopt is interoperable with other systems, such as those used by other banks or financial institutions. This can be challenging, as different systems may use different protocols or standards.

Diagnostic:

Banks can overcome this challenge by adopting agile development methodologies that prioritize testing and integration. They can also leverage APIs to enable seamless integration between new and existing systems.

Overall, the challenges of technology adoption in banking can make it difficult for banks to keep up with the rapidly changing industry. However, by addressing these challenges head-on and implementing strategies for successful blockchain technology adoption, banks can stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers.

By taking a strategic and proactive approach to technology adoption, banks can overcome the challenges associated with technology and stay competitive in the industry. By building a flexible and agile IT infrastructure, partnering with fintech companies, investing in cybersecurity, and fostering a culture of innovation, banks can effectively adopt new technologies and meet the evolving needs of their customers.

Strategies for Successful Technology Adoption in Banking

Here are some of the details on strategies for successful technology adoption in banking:

  • Develop a clear strategy

Banks should develop a clear technology strategy that aligns with their business goals and objectives. This strategy should identify key technologies that will be adopted, and outline a roadmap for implementation.

  • Focus on user experience

Banks should prioritize the user experience when adopting new technologies. This means designing technology solutions that are intuitive, easy to use, and meet the needs of customers.

  • Embrace agility

Banks should adopt an agile approach to blockchain technology adoption, which involves rapid iteration, testing, and deployment of new technologies. This approach allows banks to quickly respond to changing market conditions and customer needs.

  • Prioritize data

Banks should prioritize data when adopting new technologies, and ensure that data is managed effectively and securely. This includes using data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, and using machine learning and AI to automate processes and improve decision-making.

  • Continuously evaluate and improve

Banks should continuously evaluate their technology adoption strategy and make adjustments as necessary. This includes monitoring the performance of new technologies, soliciting feedback from customers and employees, and making changes based on that feedback.

Shaping the Future for Banking

In today’s fast-moving market, the financial services sector is leveraging the latest technology to maintain its position. A vast majority of financial-services leaders, 95 percent, acknowledge that technology is driving change in their organizations, and 86 percent are optimistic about this change. [https://explodingtopics.com/blog/fintech-market]

Given the immense potential that technology holds and the enthusiastic response of both consumers and banking leaders towards the digital transformation of the sector, further changes can be expected. Technology is poised to facilitate a better future for the banking industry and all those who engage with it.

Contact Gyan Consulting for more information.

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Gyan Consulting

Consulting and developing blockchain solutions for enterprise-level web and mobile solutions. https://gyan.solutions/