Innovations in technology continue to bring changes to the way we do things. When it comes to banking, almost every one of us do our transactions online. Be it on our laptops or mobile phones, the convenience we get from online banking services has changed the way we transact. A physical visit to the bank is fast becoming a rare trip for everyone as much of it can now be done online. Banks and other Financial Service Institution (FSIs) are aware of this change in behaviour that is happening amongst their customers.
FSIs are now also having to deal with challenges that come from increasing amounts of Fintech players in the market. Not only are these cloud-native Fintech players more agile compared to FSIs, but most of them also offer almost the same services as a bank today.
To avoid losing out to their competitors, banks and other FSIs are accelerating their digital journey to ensure they remain relevant to customers and are able to meet all their demands. More banks are looking to leverage their data, to not only get insights but also deliver better services to customers. Banks are aiming for enterprise-wide data capabilities by increasingly leveraging on a wide field of AI applications.
The Need for Modern Platforms
Huawei’s APAC Financial Industry Data Storage Summit 2020 brought together key decision-makers from financial institutions and technology innovators to address the latest trends, developments and challenges in data storage via a virtual summit. The speakers included representatives from Huawei as well as decision-makers from The Asian Banker, DBS Bank and China Construction Bank Asia. The speakers shared how transformation technologies are becoming increasingly important for financial industry companies to survive and prosper during these trying times.
Emmanuel Daniel, Founder and Chairman of The Asian Banker said that most successful businesses are relying heavily on their data as capital for success. Companies like Amazon, Tesla, Netflix and Starbucks have dominated because of their massive data strategies. These companies use data on almost every part of their business which they then use to their advantage by ensuring customers remain satisfied.
Banks are aware of this and are looking into the convergence with emerging technologies, like 5G for better app performance as well as the use of real-time cloud-based platforms. This includes data integration from third parties to create personalised offers and to develop self-teaching systems.
“Leading banks have realised that a more efficient, reliable and cost-effective data infrastructure is needed to help in better enhancing customer experience and to reshape the journey of banking experience”, he said in his opening address.
While there is no denying that intelligent data can solve the problem for FSIs, banks need the underlying technology that can provide this “intelligence”. Banks have lots of data and need fast processing speeds to ensure their systems are not only reliable to customer demands but also able to get insights and generate the desired outcome for customers promptly and securely.
Intelligent Data Requires Intelligent Storage
Huawei provides the solutions required by today's data-driven banks. Peter Zhou, President of Huawei Data Storage & Intelligent Vision Product Line took participants of the summit on a virtual innovation tour into Huawei’s largest storage research centre in Chengdu, an innovation lab in Shenzhen and production centre in Dongguan. Participants were given a chance to explore the cutting-edge technologies and comprehensive quality assurance behind the game-changing OceanStor enterprise storage arrays.
The OceanStor Dorado All-Flash storage systems are purpose-built for the mission-critical services of enterprises. It has been designed to facilitate the transition to an all-flash solution for customers in finance, manufacturing, telecom and other sectors.
“Our business model employs two new innovations. One is Effective Capacity and the other is Flash Ever. Enterprises previously had to purchase storage devices based on raw capacity. However, the actual usable capacity is usually much smaller than that due to the overhead of RAID and hot spare systems. Huawei uses deduplication and compression to create a new sales model with an effective capacity for precision purchasing. This is a much more cost-effective and accurate sales model. Huawei promises to provide a data reduction ratio of up to 5:1. The guarantee period matches the product maintenance period with a default length of three years”, explained Peter.
Peter added that Flash Ever is a Huawei program for component upgrades of hardware and software. Controllers and disk enclosures can be replaced independently online, software can be upgraded without interruption, upper-layer applications are totally unaware of the upgrade and data migration becomes a thing of the past.
5G, AI and Banking
With COVID-19 causing multiple effects to economies and industries around the world, the panel discussion on “The Future of Banking - Challenges and Opportunities Shaping the Financial Services Industry” talked about how the financial industry is dealing with COVID-19 as well as the short term and long term problems they faced.
Moderated by Emmanuel, the panellists included Johnny Chung, General Manager, Head of Fintech Division, China Construction Bank Asia; Daniel Zhou, President, Cloud & AI Business Group, Asia Pacific Region, Huawei and Chen Kun Te, Chief Digital Transformation Officer, FSI Enterprise Business Group, from Huawei and Former CIO of China Merchants Bank.
For the financial industry, Daniel said Huawei is currently conducting trials on many banks on some of the 5G use cases. This includes contactless service especially in the time of COVID-19. Another area is the risk control whereby 5G enables banks to have sensors in many different areas of the risk control point. He added that 5G is also being tested for the use of AR/VR in banking especially in communicating with customers.
“5G is not a technology. It’s a way to transform society. Banks need to consider how to apply 5G in accelerating the transformation of their business model including having some Fintech innovation that leverages on 5G, AI and big data. 5G will also require us to have a new approach towards cybersecurity. To adopt 5G is also to be resilient towards cyber threats”, commented Johnny.
Chen said banks ensure transaction data is safe and secured. However, in the digital world, there are so many different types of data available. Banks can get a lot of information from customers during their journey on their site. Banks need to empower their users with this data that they have stored and processed.
“Banks have to learn how to collect and store data as well as make it unique. From there, they can dispatch the data via different operations to better serve their customers”, commented Chen.
Daniel concluded the panel discussion by highlighting Huawei’s OceanStor Dorado All-Flash array which can address banks’ increasing data growth and boost their capabilities in managing them. He also highlighted the OceanStor Pacific Distributed Storage for massive data processing which provides large capacity and helps more on TCO savings.
Roland Wright Raffensperger, Senior Transformation Expert, Enterprise BG, Huawei concluded the summit explaining the importance of accelerating data infrastructure for future banking. As customers become the determining force for the evolution of FSIs, Huawei’s data infrastructure can accelerate this journey for them through OceanStor Dorado All-Flash storage. Not only is the OceanStor cost affective, but Roland said it’s also the leading density and leading capacity for mass data.
Change needs to be rapid, banks need to get ahead of the curve. If customers are thinking about making a payment by talking to a voice-activated app or looking for a bank that can spot fraud before a transaction completes, then it’s up to banks to leverage the technology to make that happen. Huawei is helping banks and FSIs stay ahead of the innovation curve by providing storage platforms that enable data-driven intelligent finance like never before.
To view a recording of the virtual summit, click here.