Truist explores quantum computing with IBM

Truist Financial is exploring quantum computing applications within financial services through access to IBM’s quantum computers, engineers and infrastructure.

IBM is the latest tech provider to participate in Truist’s Innovation in Residence program, joining Verizon and Amazon Web Services, Ken Meyer, chief information and experience officer at Truist, told Bank Automation News.

The outside of Truist's headquarters, CharlotteThe outside of Truist's headquarters, Charlotte
Photo credit: Whitney McDonald

“Financial services institutions are exploring quantum computing to enable calculations that are not possible with traditional computing technology,” John Duigenan, general manager, financial services industry, at IBM, told BAN. “Experimental quantum systems are already being used to test and develop financial services use cases in such applications as targeting and prediction, asset trading optimization and risk profiling, three areas that have been shown to have the highest potential.”

Quantum safety

The $574 billion Truist quickly determined that before finding quantum computing use cases, it must understand how to become “quantum safe,” Meyer said. That’s where IBM fits in. From working with other corporations, financial institutions and regulatory agencies, IBM has developed the infrastructure and experience in quantum computing that help define implementation standards.

IBM has dedicated engineers to train and work with Truist’s employees to identify bankwide use cases for quantum computing, Meyer said.

Specifically, the tech giant is working with the bank’s innovation division on emerging payment technologies, AI, security, automation and business process transformation, Duigenan said.

“We work with IBM on a daily basis in a lot of different areas across the bank,” Meyer said. For example, Truist is looking at a potential application for generative AI within the bank with IBM’s Watson X platform, he said.

“The focus area is to develop real, tangible use cases that we think are meaningful,” Meyer said, noting that quantum computing could be used in trading and origination. However, nothing is set in stone, he added.

Quantum application

When IBM joined Truist’s program, the bank joined IBM’s Quantum Accelerator program, allowing it to participate in workshops and have a front-row seat to IBM quantum computing applications as well as trials with the tech giant’s other clients, Meyer said.

IBM is under contract to work in the Innovation in Residence program for two years. At that time, the outcomes will be evaluated and an extension considered, Meyer said.

The bank has assembled an internal team to take on application development, infrastructure engineering, line of business leaders, cyber engineering, network engineering, and risk and audit roles, a Truist spokesperson told BAN, noting that the bank plans to add more roles as its quantum computing endeavor matures.

Truist joins JPMorgan and HSBC in exploring quantum computing. JPMorgan is looking to quantum computing for deep hedging within financial services and HSBC is using the technology to target cyberthreats.

For financial institutions, “engaging now is important, because financial institutions that adopt and develop quantum computing expertise early will be able to take advantage of arbitrage potential that is impossible for those who remain solely on traditional computing,” IBM’s Duigenan said.

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