4 min readFeb 28, 2023

D-Wave Brings the Power of Quantum to the Financial Services Sector: A Q&A with an Expert in Quantum for Finance

As the practical quantum computing company, D-Wave is focused on delivering real-world value for businesses and society today through quantum and quantum-hybrid technology. One key industry sector where D-Wave is seeing an increased level of demand for quantum solutions is financial services. To dive into how quantum is changing the game in this space, we sat down to interview D-Wave’s expert in quantum for financial services, Peguy Pierre-Louis.

Tell us about what you and your group do at D-Wave.

I lead the financial services practice within the D-Wave Professional Services group. We work first-hand with enterprise customers from all industry sectors in order to help them get started on their quantum journey and bring their quantum use cases to life through real-world applications.

We do this by working via high-touch engagements with customers to help them identify areas where quantum can add the most value to their business, today. Through these engagements we discover the most impactful way to leverage our quantum resources to help solve the customer’s most complex, real-world business problems. These engagements are part of our D-Wave Launch™ program.

It was recently uncovered in the annual report published by Hyperion Research that 48% of quantum computing early adopters named finance-oriented optimization as the most promising quantum computing use case. What are your thoughts on this, and what are some of the other top technology challenges and opportunities for financial services businesses?

Historically, financial services firms were somewhat technically conservative, but in recent years and through the rise of abundant fintech solutions, we’re seeing the industry aggressively seek out and apply technology solutions at a rapid pace. Financial services firms are continuously searching for a technological edge to stay competitive in the marketplace. They want to accelerate business benefits such as increased profits, reduced costs (such as technical overhead and compute time), and maximum efficiency.

In addition, problem complexity is a ubiquitous technical challenge in this space. As problem size and scale increase, the complexity increases as do the technical requirements. When financial services firms aim to apply their use cases to real-world applications, a natural increase in problem complexity can be such that classical solutions are no longer adequate or viable. This is where quantum can make a difference.

What key differentiators does quantum bring to financial services businesses?

D-Wave is able to deliver real world business value today through through our quantum-hybrid technology. Annealing is best for optimization problems, which make up a vast portion of the problem space across most industries, including financial services. With annealing, you can more accurately represent the increasing complexity of real-world models. Existing classical methodologies usually need to make tradeoffs between problem complexity and model accuracy. Our hybrid solvers, which support quadratic models natively, allow us to solve many financial use cases more accurately without the need for approximations.

In general, financial services enterprises can see real business value today by using our technology, such as accelerated time-to-solution for many complex business processes, as you can see in our broad mix of customer applications. It can also be a complementary piece of the technology stack that can accelerate AI/ML workflows, such as with our feature selection offering. In addition, financial services businesses that get started today can future-proof their businesses by identifying key quantum use cases early on and building out real-world quantum applications.

What are the top optimization use cases you see on the front lines for financial services?

There are so many! We see key financial use cases across areas such as portfolio optimization, feature selection, fraud detection, credit scoring, consumer loyalty and rewards, cross-border settlement, anti-money laundering, and more.

What are some of the early financial quantum apps you have built and seen success with, and which customers have been involved?

We’ve worked with top financial companies such as Mastercard, PayPal, CaixaBank, and more. For example, Mastercard is using feature selection to improve critical areas like fraud detection, and it is also exploring multiple use cases across other parts of the business, including consumer loyalty and rewards. PayPal used feature selection for fraud detection. GoodLabs uses our technology for payments systems optimization, while others like CaixaBank, BBVA, and Bankia use it for investment portfolio hedging and bond portfolio optimization.

What are some of the business benefits achieved with quantum for financial services businesses and some of these customers?

Our customers achieve real-world, tangible business benefits today from using our technology. CaixaBank leveraged our Leap™ quantum cloud service to build a quantum computing application for investment portfolio selection, allocation, and hedging. With our quantum technology, the bank coded a faster algorithm and reduced the compute time necessary to reach a high-quality solution. What normally took several hours of compute time was reduced to just minutes via our quantum computing technology — an up to 90% decrease in compute time over the traditional solution. Another example is BBVA and Bankia, which achieved a 60% return on investment with 15% volatility when building out a portfolio optimization solution on D-Wave’s quantum hybrid solver services.

Earlier, you mentioned the D-Wave Launch program, which helps enterprises onboard to quantum. Can you expand a bit on this program and how it helps financial services businesses get started with quantum?

D-Wave Launch is one of our biggest differentiating factors as a world-class quantum computing company. It is a high-touch, services-led engagement for enterprises that want to accelerate their quantum journey by speeding up quantum use case identification, problem formulation, and quantum PoC development through production application. Not only can they see faster time-to-value, but they will also learn from our industry experts about successful quantum use cases and applications that we have seen deliver business value. You can learn more about it here.

What is the best way to get started today?

It’s a great time, because we currently have a promotion for a free 30-minute consultation for financial services businesses. Qualified businesses can sign up here.

Learn more about our Launch program, or sign up for Leap for free today.