Lloyds Banks readies for digital banking push with Google Cloud

The UK bank goes against the industry grain with an assertive investment into cloud technology.
17 March 2020

Lloyds Banking Group is founded in 1695. Source: Shutterstock

As part of a US$3.9 billion digital banking strategy, the UK-based Lloyds Bank is upgrading its multi-cloud approach with a new Google Cloud partnership. 

Lloyds will use a number of services from the Big Four cloud leader, including Anthos for app development and Apigee for open-banking API initiatives, as well as other services which help boost its customer experience and cloud cybersecurity. 

It’s a forward-thinking approach for an established finance leader in an industry that has been hesitant to put faith in cloud computing. According to Business Insider Intelligence, a majority (85 percent) of UK finance professionals distrust the technology, despite being eager to embrace innovative new IT in other areas. 

“Banking customers today expect secure access to their funds, without downtime, and delivered through the modern experiences they receive in other aspects of their lives,” said Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian.

“We are proud to work with such a storied institution as Lloyds Banking Group, which helped to create — and continues to redefine — the next generation of financial services.”

The assertive investment could give Lloyds Bank an advantage against its rivals, allowing it to improve efficiency and reduce costs by eliminating the need for on-premise data centers and servers. 

The data storage upgrade offered by cloud can also allow the bank to explore the application of technology such as AI and blockchain, noted Business Insider, which reported that Lloyds is already experimenting with AI and machine learning to deliver account holders “the best possible personalized experience.”

Elsewhere in the banking world, HSBC is one of the early adopters and keen explorers of tech initiatives. Last year, the multinational company announced plans to move up to US$20 billion worth of assets to a new blockchain-based custody platform this year. 

HSBC has also been moving towards a cloud-first world and is plunging into the capabilities of the cloud to develop more reliable and resilient services. They rely on data analytics to detect industry trends and understand customers’ needs by providing new banking features and functions.

In terms of business value, the bank’s migration to the cloud has supported an immense customer base of 28 countries and significantly reduced liquidity reporting times, as HSBC’s Global CIO Darry West explained at a conference.  

Cloud’s flexibility and scalability is creating the ideal environment for US-based PayPal to experiment and innovate with machine learning (ML) capabilities. 

PayPal utilizes the cloud environment to store valuable data and processes. In a bid to develop machine learning tools that can help them add intelligence to customer experiences such as ‘smarter’ chatbots and intelligent case routing. 

In most instances, the transition from on-premise to the cloud is the first step to digital transformation but many challenges lie ahead— hurdles from understanding cloud capabilities to the mindset of adopters and the overall community.