The Record - Issue 16, Spring 2020

69  F I NANC I A L S E R V I C E S has a tremendous opportunity to accelerate the use of cloud and AI as a catalyst to improve competitiveness, drive growth, elevate cus- tomer experiences and keep ahead of changing regulations and cyber- security threats.” In Hong Kong, for instance, HSBC is building new services in the cloud to enable better organisation and analysis of its data and make more core customer journeys and features available in a mobile-first environment – while delivering bank-grade security. The bank’s PayMe for Business app, built on Microsoft Azure, enables businesses to collect payments instantly and use built-in intelligence to improve sales and operations. Adopting a microservices-based architecture with Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Database for MySQL enabled HSBC to build isolated services with stronger security and overall application up-time. A powerful analytics platform with machine learning, built on Azure Databricks, enables fast identification of customer-merchant- transaction relationships and patterns to deliver personalised customer experience, while quickly detecting anomalous activity. “One of the biggest criminal threats the financial services industry will face is money laundering,” says Hans Tesselaar, executive director of the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN). “As the industry introduces more digitally sophisticated services, it will open more vulnerabilities within banking networks. They will need to manage this effectively from the start to avoid consequences later on.” Regulatory measures serve as a benchmark for prevention, he says. “Regulations such as 5AMLD are already being put in place to ensure banks maintain best practice around their operations. It would also make sense for businesses to adopt technology which can help monitor and measure suspicious activity, to avoid increases in operational expenditure.” Manual effort alone is too costly and error- prone to keep a bank’s entire network protected, but tools such as AI can help themmonitor for suspicious activity effectively. “AI can help reduce the manpower needed and can conduct surveillance seamlessly around the clock,” says Tesselaar. “The technology can also scale to meet the demands of an entire, growing business.” BIAN is helping banks to meet the challenge. “Within our network of bank and IT vendor members, we are creating API-based banking services that are rigor tested and built to the highest possible standard,” says Tesselaar. “We have also started building innovative APIs in the payments and card space that protect banks and their customers against fraud. Giving access through APIs, issued and controlled by the banks, is much more secure and controllable than the currently widely used screen scraping.” Protecting against money laundering