The banking and payments industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation owing to ever changing consumer expectations. The rapid technological developments in the areas of banking and payments that aim to offer seamless experience to consumers are now becoming even more vital for industry participants as competitors leverage new technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and embedded finance as they compete to stay relevant and grow in the market. In the last three years alone, there have been over 92,000 patents filed and granted in the banking industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Banking: automated toll payments.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

60+ innovations will shape the banking industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the banking industry using innovation intensity models built on over 195,000 patents, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Automated toll payments, payment actuated vending, and contactless card scanners are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are near field communication (NFC) payments and contactless payments, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the banking industry

Automated toll payments is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Automated toll payments allow individuals to pay toll fee digitally for using toll roads, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, toll bridges, and toll tunnels thereby eliminating the need for the driver to stop at toll booths and pay with cash. The toll fare is automatically deducted from the linked payment solution such as a bank account or a payment card. Vehicles are fitted with an automated radio transponder device that facilitates toll fare payment automatically.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established banking companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated toll payments.

Key players in automated toll payments – a disruptive innovation in the banking industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to automated toll payments

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nuro 113 Unlock company profile
INRIX 83 Unlock company profile
Cloudparc 56 Unlock company profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 44 Unlock company profile
Nio 40 Unlock company profile
Parking Cloud 11 Unlock company profile
Navient 9 Unlock company profile
General Motors 8 Unlock company profile
Beijing Watchdata System 8 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Didi Global 6 Unlock company profile
Continental 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nuro is one of the leading patent filers in the automated toll payments space. The company has a patent filed on a solution that performs image recognition algorithms to detect a primary entrance, navigate from a street address to the primary entrance, and to validate the customer upon delivery. The solution leverages a combination of several sensors to detect the object such as a camera, a video camera, a proximity sensor, a contact sensor, a light sensor, or an infrared sensor. Some other key patent filers in this space include INRIX, Cloudparc, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, and Nio.

In terms of application diversity, Nio leads the pack. Nuro and Navient stand in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Toyota Motors holds the top position, followed by Didi Global and Navient.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the banking industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Banking.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.