The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by security and technology, and growing importance of technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts, and cloud. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in Retail: e-transaction tamperproofing.

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.

70+ innovations will shape the retail industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the retail industry using innovation intensity models built on over 128,000 patents, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, smart contracts and transaction data blockchain are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Biometric authentication, biometric payments, and blockchain payments are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are user biometric authentication and e-commerce robotic process automation, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the retail industry

e-transaction tamperproofing is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Blockchain provides enhanced security against tamper-proofing. The reason is its distributed ledger. A blockchain network employs the distributed ledger system. This system records transaction data with timestamps that too, in a chronological order, making it difficult for an attacker as they need to change the transaction information across all ledgers, right up to the first Block.

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 100 companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of e-transaction tamperproofing.

Key players in e-transaction tamperproofing – a disruptive innovation in the retail 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 e-transaction tamperproofing

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
SoftBank Group 1358 Unlock company profile
nChain Holdings 475 Unlock company profile
Visa 127 Unlock company profile 52 Unlock company profile
Ant Group 50 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 49 Unlock company profile
Coinplug 47 Unlock company profile
Toronto-Dominion Bank 44 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 43 Unlock company profile
Capital One Financial 36 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 35 Unlock company profile
Digital Asset Holdings 35 Unlock company profile
PayPal Holdings 34 Unlock company profile
Intel 28 Unlock company profile
Worldline 26 Unlock company profile
Walmart 25 Unlock company profile
Civic Technologies 25 Unlock company profile
JPMorgan Chase 24 Unlock company profile
Meta Platforms 24 Unlock company profile
Razorpay Software Pvt 24 Unlock company profile
Baidu 23 Unlock company profile
Apple 23 Unlock company profile
Ripple Labs 23 Unlock company profile
Algorand 20 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 20 Unlock company profile
Thales 19 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 15 Unlock company profile
PayRange 15 Unlock company profile
IDEMIA France 15 Unlock company profile
Nasdaq 15 Unlock company profile
Inveniam Capital Partners 14 Unlock company profile
Ping Identity Holding 14 Unlock company profile 14 Unlock company profile
Nokia 14 Unlock company profile
FMR 14 Unlock company profile
Gelliner 14 Unlock company profile
Ballet Global 13 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 13 Unlock company profile
Rivetz 13 Unlock company profile
Rokfin 12 Unlock company profile
Block 12 Unlock company profile
Securrency 11 Unlock company profile
Mastercard 11 Unlock company profile
Feitian Technologies 11 Unlock company profile
Diebold Nixdorf 11 Unlock company profile
KB Financial Group 11 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 11 Unlock company profile
Tencent Holdings 10 Unlock company profile
SICPA Holding 10 Unlock company profile
MC Familiengesellschaft mbH 10 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

In terms of patents filed, SoftBank Grou, nChain, Visa,, and Ant Group are the leading players in the e-transaction tamper-proofing space. In February 2023, nChain announced its partnership with Unisot, a Web3-based supply chain traceability platform as a service provider. As part of the partnership, Unisot’s supply chain sustainability and traceability platform will have the blockchain technology of nChain.

In terms of application diversity, Ballet Global, Nasdaq, Block, and IDEMIA France are the leading players in the e-transaction tamper-proofing space.

In terms of geographic reach, IDEMIA France, Algorand, nChain, and SICPA are the leading players in the space.

The benefits of transaction tamperproofing include lower costs, enhanced data integrity, reduced risk to business continuity, and improved financial health.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity in Retail.


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.