Research and innovation in fintech in the retail 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 63 in the three months ending July – down from 171 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to fintech followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 241 in the three months ending July 2021 to 114 in the same period in 2022.

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.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd was the top fintech innovator in the retail sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in China, filed 18 fintech related patents in the three months ending July. That was down from 64 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based eBay Inc with 8 fintech patent applications, the United States based Inc (8 applications), and the United States based Groupon Inc (7 applications).