Huawei Cloud and Pangu AI model reshaping finance industry

Huawei Cloud is helping to transform the finance industry with powerful AI model Pangu and Everything as a Service smart solutions

According to a recent Cloud Business Survey from PwC, two thirds of financial services organisations are turning to cloud for innovation and growth.

That is hardly surprising, considering cloud provides access to powerful built-in features and services – and leverages the AI opportunity. Unlimited, flexible capacity also allows financial organisations to quickly scale up or down, while also removing dependency on legacy technology.

In short, migrating to the cloud can supercharge the financial organisation. 

That was one of the key messages emerging from Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) – an event that attracted global finance leaders for discussions and insights on the future of the industry.

That future is looking bright if the Huawei Cloud Fintech Summit Middle East and Central Asia 2023 was anything to go by, held during ADFW and featuring a number of key announcements unveiling cutting-edge solutions that could reshape the entire service chain.

Central to these solutions was Huawei Cloud's powerful Pangu 3.0 AI large language model and the flexibility of Huawei Cloud, and how traditional banks and fintechs alike can transform their services and enhance customer experience.

“Huawei Cloud has been engaged in digital transformation of the financial industry for many years,” says An Bohui, VP of Public Cloud, Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia. “Through innovation in infrastructure, application agility, and business intelligence, Huawei Cloud provides better options for global financial customers.”

This is clearly required. According to a report from McKinsey, only 30% of banks that have undergone a digital transformation say it was a success. This is not unusual for any industry, but banks have particular traits that hold back their ambitions.

McKinsey identifies these as significant technical debt and a siloed and complex IT architecture. Complexity and lack of innovation are also cited as barriers.

Speaking at the Fintech Summit, senior executives outlined how Huawei Cloud can help traditional banks and fintechs achieve their goals faced with these challenges. 

Alex Zhao, General Manager of Global Finance for Huawei Public Cloud Business, unveiled GaussDB at Huawei Cloud Fintech Summit. Previously launched in Thailand, this was a regional first, and included new features and upgrades.

GaussDB caters to the specific needs of the financial industry, utilising software-hardware synergy and full-stack innovation to provide high availability, security, performance, elasticity, and AI-Native features. 

Zhao outlined that GaussDB is easy to deploy and migrate, making it an ideal solution for the financial industry to quickly launch purpose-built services.

The container platform allows customers to scale quickly to handle growth and deal with peaks like a Black Friday ecommerce sale. This can help customers to scale 8,000 containers within 30 seconds, which can really help improve efficiency – being able to scale quickly to meet demand.

Huawei Cloud can also provide all of the cloud-native infrastructure and services required by a digital bank. Digital banks have multiple partners and Huawei can give them a whole package, including a consulting service to help customers deal with compliance and regulations.

Encryption and security is clearly vital, especially in the financial industry, and Huawei Cloud has the hardware and software capabilities to protect organisations from bad actors.

Cloud and AI top priorities for finance industry

Another study commissioned by Temenos surveyed banks across the globe and found that financial institutions must use disruptive technologies to remain relevant. It’s a classic case of adapt or die.

The research also showed 79% agree that banking will become embedded, with 20% of banks expecting their business model to evolve to offer Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) to brands and fintechs, while enabling embedded finance in their own products and services.

More than half (51%) of respondents agree that banks will no longer own data centres due to the transition to the public cloud in the next five years, and that business agility, efficiency, and security are reasons why banks are accelerating the shift to the cloud.

AI is expected to also have a considerable influence, with generative AI projected to drive banking by 75% in the Temenos survey.

That’s why every financial organisation right now is desperate to make the most of the artificial intelligence opportunity – making it one of their top priorities. However, a survey by global digital transformation consulting firm Synechron of Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officers, and Chief Data Officers from the global financial services industry shows that cloud priorities are even more important than AI – suggesting that business leaders are approaching new AI tools with caution but fully embracing the power of the cloud.

Huawei Cloud combines the best of both cloud technology and artificial intelligence in a single solution. AI will be a game-changer for the industry, and Huawei Cloud is leading the way with its Pangu foundational model. 

On top of that, being able to handle huge amounts of data – a key benefit of utilising AI – requires a robust and powerful cloud. But what really makes the Huawei Cloud solution sing is the synergy.

“Huawei can bring the keys and the tools and our ecosystem to help our users and customers,” they say.

Prior to the Fintech Summit, Frank Dai, President, Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia, gave a keynote speech at ADFW where he outlined his vision for collaboration with the finance industry.

Titled ‘Everything as a Service: AI Reshapes Finance’, Dai highlighted the unique requirements of the industry when it comes to reliability, professionalism, and rigour and deploying big models.

The implementation of big financial models in the industry is a complex system project, and Huawei hopes to work with financial customers in all aspects of blueprint planning, implementation practice, and continuous operation to unlock the potential of big models and deliver a leap forward in intelligent productivity.

This was not just talk – Huawei Cloud signed MoUs with leading regional fintechs Finmaal, Klaim.ai, and Emirates Digital Wallet at the event.

This is a move that will play an important role in driving cloud native and AI models.

None of this is possible without the power and flexibility of Huawei Cloud.

Middle East opportunity for Huawei Cloud

As a key market for Huawei Cloud, the UAE was the first outside of China to gain access to these cutting-edge solutions. Huawei has a long-term relationship with companies in the UAE, stretching back more than 20 years to 2001 working with then telco Etisalat (now e&).

The Middle East region is ripe for financial digital transformation, with one of the highest mobile internet penetration rates in the world – which provides an excellent infrastructure for fintech. Digital banking, mobile finance, consumer finance, and Web3 finance have become mainstream use cases in the finance industry.

In September 2023, Huawei launched cloud infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, has data centres and cloud in the UAE, and is opening a cloud foundation in Egypt.

Huawei is investing in infrastructure in these countries so they have the choice to develop and deploy their own technology and apps on the cloud. Previously, they only had access to private cloud or on-premise solutions, with public cloud solutions being limited. 

The ecosystem is important. Each industry needs its own solution, as every industry is different and will have different requirements. Technology providers cannot only provide the computing and the storage, as customers are looking for an end-to-end solution. Huawei Cloud provides that all-in-one solution.

With the finance industry embarking on an historic digital transformation, and the very nature of banking and payments changing beyond recognition, powerful public cloud is an essential component of success. When coupled with innovative AI and a suite of smart API solutions from Huawei Cloud, the future of fintech looks bright.

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