Quantum computing will be a game-changer for many applications and has big potential in terms of benefiting financial services companies.

In my last post, I gave you an overview of what quantum computing is, and where it stands today. In this post, we’ll explore some potential uses of this exciting technology in financial services.

Quantum computing in financial services

The main areas of quantum computing that show the most promise for financial services are in solving complex optimization problems such as portfolio risk optimization and fraud detection.

Quantum computing could be used to:

  • Better determine attractive portfolios given thousands of assets with interconnecting dependencies.
  • Identify key fraud indicators more effectively.

Additionally, quantum key distribution systems can be used for secure communications. For instance, a decade ago, the integrity of the voting machines in Swiss elections was protected by a code generated using quantum computing. The Geneva-based ID Quantique used photons and quantum cryptography to create a provably secure encryption key which was rare at the time.1

Another potential use for quantum computing is in marketing and distribution. Some data-driven systems are tailored on a per-customer basis. These systems collect hundreds of attributes about a consumer’s preferences, which then need to be mapped to product affinities and represented as a graph. Ultimately, a quantum computer is well suited to tackle further refinements of such a graph and can contribute to the decision on which product to show a customer.

Clearly, we’re at the very early stages of applying quantum computing to financial services on a large scale. But opportunities to apply quantum computing are actively being sought:

Accenture Labs has mapped 150+ use cases for quantum computing to find the most promising in various industries.

The goal is to identify and validate the problems where a quantum algorithm will outpace existing computing methods and improve results, and it’s only a matter of time before the technology’s potential for both security and disruption are realized. Enterprises that begin business experiments with quantum technology now will be better prepared for major industry changes that could come through the introduction of quantum computing.

It’s going to get interesting very quickly, especially for financial services.

In our next installment, we’ll take a look at the kinds of gains we can expect from quantum computing as a leasable cloud-based commodity, and what it will take to solve the “last mile” problem and get quantum computing benefits into the hands of decision-makers and consumers.

Until then, you can read our report “Think Beyond Ones and Zeros” for more information.

 

Reference:

  1. “Quantum cryptography to protect Swiss election.” Newscientist.com, October 15, 2007. Access at: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12786-quantum-cryptography-to-protect-swiss-election.

 

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