Research and innovation in fintech in the banks, payment providers, cards programmes and processors sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of fintech related patent applications in the industry stood at 216 in the three months ending December – down from 723 over the same period in 2020.

Figures for patent grants related to fintech followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 341 in the three months ending December 2020 to 154 in 2021.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Fintech is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Capital One was the top fintech innovator in the banks, payment providers, cards programmes and processors sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the US, filed 124 fintech related patents in the three months ending December. That was down from 154 over the same period last year.

It was followed by the US based Mastercard with 86 fintech patent applications, Visa (84 applications), and PayPal (46 applications).

GlobalData is the parent company of Electronic Payments International and its sister publications