HomeBankCanadian banks focus on tech, efficiency, innovation

Canadian banks focus on tech, efficiency, innovation

Canadian banks leaned into technology spend during the most recent quarter as efficiency and innovation remained a priority.

“Transformational level use of technology, creating capacity and business velocity,” is top of mind for Canadian clients,Karin Kirkwood, president of Canada-based fintechBroadridge Canada, toldBank Automation News.

She added that banks are focused on three things:

  1. Increasing capacity;
  2. Delivering innovation; and
  3. Providing consistency across customer touch points.

Banks are working to remove time-intensive manual processes and “redirect that capacity to providing higher value for our clients,” she said.

This week,Bank of Montreal,National Bank of Canada,Royal Bank of Canada,Scotiabankand TD Bank all reported earnings that reflect increased tech spend and an uptick in innovation and overall digital channel usership.

Tech spend

The Canadian banks reported increases in non-interest expenses and some broke out technology-specific spending.

$1 trillion Scotiabank, for one, upped its tech spend 13% year over year to CA$570 million ($421 million), according to the bank’s earnings supplement.

$311 billion National Bank of Canada also increased tech spend 3.6% YoY to $190 million as the bank invested in technology across its business lines including wealth management, financial markets, and personal and commercial banking.


As tech spend grew, the banks invested in innovation to keep up with growing customer demand for digital capabilities.

During the quarter, the following digital solutions launched:

  • $960 billion BMO rolled out its BMO Eclipse RiseVisacard to help clients establish strong financial habits; and
  • $1.9 trillion TD Bank added Tap to Pay on iPhone and enabledZelle for small businesses.

Digital adoption

The banks also reported an increase in digital adoption across their mobile and digital channels.

TD Bank’s mobile usership increased 7.7% YoY to 5 million users in the United States and grew 8.5% YoY to 7.7 million users in Canada, according to the bank’s earnings presentation, released today.

The banks reported the following digital adoption:

Bank Active mobile usership % Change YoY
RBC 7M 12%
Scotiabank 4.8M 7%
TD Bank 12.7M 2%

Editor’s note: All amounts have been converted to U.S. dollars.

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