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Accenture Banking: Top 10 trends for 2021

As anyone who was making forecasts this time last year now knows, it’s a risky endeavor. But there’s a good chance that 2021 will be remembered as the year we picked ourselves up after COVID-19, hopefully learning something in the process.

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Banks in 2020 were forced to make years’ worth of technology and business model changes in a matter of months. Demand for both digital solutions and secure work-from-home systems exploded. The pandemic has stretched the entire industry like an elastic band, and there is an understandable desire to let the band relax and go back to «normal» as soon as conditions permit.

But when you stretch an elastic band, you also create potential energy. In a slingshot, that energy can be transformed into rapid forward motion. For banks, that took the form of a sustained burst of innovation and improvisation. The question they face now, however, is where to let the elastic relax and ease the strain of 2020, and where the experience and pent-up energy of last year can be used to propel the institution forward.

Alan McIntyre, our chief banking slingshot expert, has been tracking the debates and decisions taking place within the industry right now on what to do with this stretched elastic. As he does every year at this time, he once again presents the 10 key trends most likely to affect banking over the next 12 months.