Quantum Computing

HSBC-First Bank to Join UK Commercial Quantum Secure Metro Network


By Carolyn Mathas

Just one year ago, BT and Toshiba creating the world’s first commercial quantum secure communications network spanning the London metro. Now, HSBC announced that it was the first bank to join.

HSBC will connect the two UK sites using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). The sites include the company’s global headquarters in Canary Wharf and a data center in Berkshire, 62 km away. The trials will involve financial transactions, secure video communications, and one-time-pad encryption scenarios for secure transmission of test data using fiber-optic cables. AWS edge computing capabilities using AWS Snowball Edge devices in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) are an important part of that effort.

QKD technology uses light particles and the fundamental properties of quantum physics to exchange secret keys between parties, free from eavesdropping or cyberattacks by quantum computers.

Colin Bell, CEO of HSBC Bank Plc and HSBC Europe stated that the company spearheads industry-leading trials, recruits experts and invests in strong strategic partnerships to deploy technologies as they grow. The insights gained will drive the development of financial cybersecurity applications.

This is not HSBC’s first involvement in quantum. For example, the company has a place Quantum Program project with the aim of setting up global operations for the quantum future. They are also involved in trials of IBM’s quantum computers in banking applications—after entering a three years cooperation, and joining IBM’s Quantum Accelerator program, giving HSBC access to IBM’s quantum computers, including the 127-qubit Eagle processor.

HSBC also plays a key role in the European Next Applications of Quantum Computing project. A consortium of 12 European companies and research labs will work together to develop potential use cases across various applications. One of them is banking, especially for risk analytics, machine learning, and cybersecurity. HSBC is the only financial services organization involved in the NEASQC project.

While commercially viable quantum computers are not yet available, the proliferation of funded programs, partnerships and evolving use cases could make their availability a reality faster and banking more secure.

Learn more about HSBC/UK’s commercial quantum endeavor. Press release access Here.

July 13, 2023


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