Different countries such as Spain, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States have started to roll out this technology this year. There are also multiple projects under way. BBVA has deployed a telecommunications infrastructure, together with Telefónica, at its Madrid headquarters, making it one of the first business sites in Europe to have 5G dedicated coverage.
Over the next few years, implementing such networks in banking will improve customer experience and allow real-time information processing by making communications more secure. 5G is expected to bring with it new ways of introducing products and services to end users—for example, through virtual or augmented reality—and improve the bank’s applications and infrastructure so that, with greater capacity, it can perform more powerful data analysis or handle higher volumes of information.
In 2019 we also started to see the first promises of quantum computing come to fruition. In October Google published a finding in the scientific journal Nature that would be the first empirical demonstration of the concept of quantum supremacy—the ability to perform a task on a quantum computer using fewer resources than on a classic computer. Other companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Honeywell, Rigetti Computing, IonQ, Intel and NTT are also exploring this field.
For Boixo, the main limitation for making progress in this field is the hardware. “The current qubits depend on quantum entanglements that are currently only technologically viable at very low temperatures, very close to absolute zero, and are highly prone to errors,” he says. In addition, the quantum computers available to researchers are only capable of testing algorithms for small problems. This is expected to change in the coming years and quantum computing is expected to have a strong impact on industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and banking.
“Those who invest in talent and research in quantum computing today, will be those who will be able to reap the benefits and rewards that this technology will bring”
BBVA’s Escolástico Sánchez, leader of the Research and Development discipline in New Digital Businesses (NDB), explains that developments in this technology over the next decade will have a major impact on the financial sector: “It will have a tremendous impact: in the field of communications, cybersecurity, detection equipment, Internet function, supply chain logistics, scientific exploration, and, of course, finance.” According to the expert, these advances will also have an effect on traditional computer science, and consequently, the way people interact digitally will change due to the new quantum paradigm. “Of course, by then we will also have created the hardware necessary to harness the potential of this technology. Those who invest in talent and research in this field today, will be those who will be able to reap the benefits and rewards that this technology will bring,” he adds.