HSBC is working with tech firm Quantinuum on a series of exploratory projects looking at the use of quantum computing in banking.
HSBC has been stepping up its efforts in quantum computing over the last year, forming a multi-year deal with IBM to investigate the technology and actively recruiting research scientists to build a dedicated capability within its innovation team.
Now, it is also embarking on a long-term partnership with Quantinuum, the self-described world’s largest quantum computing company, with an initial focus on cybersecurity.
While quantum computing is expected to open a host of possibilities for the financial services industry, it is also likely to provide new opportunities for crooks. Last year, the DTCC published a white paper warning that quantum computing could "create significant new risks for financial firms by making even the most highly protected computer systems vulnerable to hacking".
The partners will investigate the use of quantum computing-hardened cryptographic keys, including uniquely combining them with post-quantum cryptographic algorithms.
The work will involve Quantinuum’s Quantum Origin, a platform that uses the operations of a quantum computer to strengthen the cryptographic keys that are used to protect transactions and identification processes.
Quantum Origin is deployed on existing “classical” cybersecurity infrastructure and is "the first commercial product on the market that uses a quantum computer to produce provably unpredictable cryptographic keys, which could offer an extra layer of security to protect HSBC’s most valuable data," says a statement.
The companies will also explore the potential benefits of quantum machine learning and quantum natural language processing for HSBC's business, specifically for fraud detection.
Philip Intallura, global head, quantum technologies, HSBC, says: "Our collaboration provides us a great opportunity to access cutting-edge quantum hardware and take our use cases to a truly transformational level. We are looking forward to seeing the results of our joint work and bring long-term value to the bank."