Apr 9, 2021

IBM drives innovation with new Cloud for Financial Services

IBM
Cloud
financialservices
redhat
William Girling
2 min
Following its primary announcement in 2019, IBM has confirmed the release of Cloud for Financial Services, a unique, industry-specific platform
Following its primary announcement in 2019, IBM has confirmed the release of Cloud for Financial Services, a unique, industry-specific platform...

Featuring support for Red Hat OpenShift and other cloud services, it will support mission-critical systems, protect data, and facilitate accelerated innovation.

"With a focus on data security delivered with IBM's confidential computing and sophisticated encryption capabilities, we aim to reduce risk in the supply chain for banks, insurers and other financial services industry players, and at the same time accelerating the time by which they can drive and consume innovation,” explained Howard Boville, Head of IBM Hybrid Cloud Platform.

Cloud for Financial Services was developed in conjunction with several high-profile FSIs, including Bank of America, BNP Paribas, MUFG, and others. Furthermore, the platform’s broader ecosystem is supported by over 90 partners, software vendors, and SaaS providers.

Enabling open innovation

The addition of Red Hat OpenShift is critical: FSIs will be able to control virtual machine workloads and maintain granular control over compliance. 

For companies that are seeking to drive their own cloud computing development, IBM’s solution will enable them to do so through VMware’s cloud-native workloads:

"We find the platform helps demonstrate security and readiness for regulatory compliance more efficiently and can bring significant value to the financial services supply chain,” commented Fidelma Russo, SVP and GM, Cloud Services Business Unit, VMware.

Another enterprise software giant, SAP, is also contributing to Cloud for Financial Services support network.

Partnering on digital transformation

BNP Paribas has been named as one of the first FSIs to employ IBM’s new platform for onboarding its workloads and ecosystem partners. The bank has, so far, migrated 40 apps and plans to accelerate in the coming years. Bernard Gavgani, Global CIO, BNP Paribas, explained:

“IBM has been our long-time partner in large part for their knowledge of cloud technology, security, including data encryption, and deep industry expertise associated with banking regulations. We're collaborating with IBM to establish a BNP Paribas-dedicated cloud that is compatible with all the constraints that are imposed by regulators throughout the world.”

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Jun 19, 2021

AI and the future of global trade

AI
Tradeteq
trade
Finance
Michael Boguslavsky, Head of A...
3 min
Boguslavsky explores AI's potential in trade finance; could it overcome traditional barriers and usher in a new era of financial transformation?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming entrenched in our daily lives, but the technology is still surrounded by misconceptions and skepticism. Ask the public and they may jump to dystopian scenarios where robots have taken over the world. 

While this makes for a good sci-fi blockbuster plot, the reality is different and more benign. Those products that Amazon suggested you buy? AI. That TV series you were recommended to watch on Netflix? AI. That self-driving Tesla car you crave to take for a spin? You guessed it: AI.

There is no single industry that is not being re-shaped by technology. Until recently, however, there was one noteworthy exception: global trade. Fortunately, that is slowly changing.

The mechanism that underpins global trade – trade finance – is an industry that remains largely paper-based and reliant on manual processes. This US$18tn a year industry is now being influenced by a new wave of technological innovation, including AI.

Exploring the potential of AI in Trade Finance

AI refers to the use of computer-aided systems to help people make decisions or make decisions for them. It relies on large volumes of data and models to make sense of information and draw intelligence. 

In trade finance, AI is helpful in analysing quantitative data, and the repetitive nature of trade finance means that there is a lot of non-traditional data at our disposal. 

This means that when trade finance providers need to assess the risks of funding a transaction, AI models can be a very efficient tool for data analysis and reveal intelligence and risks relating to small companies.

AI helps the industry move beyond traditional credit scoring processes, which are often outdated and remain reliant on historical accounting entries – a barrier that prevents small companies from accessing trade finance and has resulted in a $1.5tn global shortfall. 

Overcoming the barriers

AI can tackle this shortfall by creating accurate credit scoring models. This can include a company’s payment history, measure the risks of funding a transaction, identify supply chain risks, and benchmark them against their peer group.

Trade finance providers can use this information to communicate effectively with their SME clients, ultimately helping establish better business relationships.

Towards a technological utopia?

The adoption of AI has the potential to do a lot of good in the industry, and the industry is in the early stages of radical transformation.

Advances are driven by fintechs as well as a willingness to change. The industry is working together to create new infrastructure for distributing trade finance assets to other investors in a transparent, standardised format. 

The creation of infrastructure is possible due to improvements in technology and integrated across the trade ecosystem in cooperation with banks, insurers, and other industry participants. 

It’s collaboration at its best: together, the industry is using technology to re-shape global trade as we know it.

This article was contributed by Michael Boguslavsky, Head of AI at Tradeteq

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