1. Regulatory. Rep. Barney Frank is planning to retire after his next term, but the financial reform package that bears his name lives on. Many of the interpretations of the Dodd-Frank and changes to Regulation Z will emerge this year. Tech projects tied to the Durbin amendment will get under way soon. Not only will the new laws require banks to improve their disclosures and reports, but the new rules will affect payments technology, data storage and technology used to develop loyalty rewards programs, which are expected to increase in importance as Durbin squeezes traditional fees. "This is a 'must' spend, so when banks look at their investment strategy, this is the first thing they have to satisfy," says Wayne Busch, a senior executive leading Accenture's North American banking practice.

2. Security. It may seem like an obvious area of IT spending, but security is one of the few line items getting money without a lot of constraints, and Internet crime and data theft aren't going away. Banks are likely to spend on software to prevent breaches and control access to data, with a particular focus on multifactor authentication and new encryption techniques such as format-preserving encryption, or a stronger means of protecting cardholder data: by using a replacement number that has the same number of digits as the real data figure, and cross-department integration of previously siloed data loss prevention.

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