Commonwealth Bank of Australia hopes to one day use quantum computers to drive insights for its customers.\nSpeaking at a Vivid event in Sydney last week, CIO David Whiteing said the technology could also be used within the bank for risk management and secure communications.\n \nAppearing alongside Telstra chief scientist Hugh Bradlow, who said the telco aimed to offer customers quantum computing-as-a-service, Whiteing said: "We also think...less about providing a service for customers but more about using it to drive insights for customers."\n \nProviding customers with analytics has become a priority for the bank, which in Aprillaunched a new analytics platform Daily IQ 2.0 \u2013 which draws on data including the CBA\u2019s 1.2 billion monthly transaction records, industry data, and a customer\u2019s account and point-of-sale information \u2013 for its small and medium business customers.\n \n"Our customers are becoming more and more integrated into the global network and there are a variety of problems that they face that if we start to automate and drive machine learning and cognitive across it, it frees them up to be more creative and solve other problems," Whiteing explained.\n \nRisk path\n \nIn 2014 CBA committed $5 million to the UNSW\u2019s Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) in Sydney, where scientists are racing to build the world\u2019s first scalable silicon-based quantum computer. CBA topped up that investment witha further $10 millionin December 2015.\n \nThe CQC2T \u2013 which hasalso received funding from the federal government and Telstra\u2013 is part ofa global race to build a quantum computer, and is pursuing a silicon-based approach.\nWhile the computers we use today represent information in binary bits \u2013 on\/off, 0\/1 \u2013 while a quantum computer's qubit can, in simple terms,be both on and off the same time. That means many computations can be performed in parallel; a quality that, when fully realised, will give quantum computers a huge speed advantage over \u2018classical\u2019 computers in solving certain problems.\n \n\u201cThe simple problems we have just to run our business, the end of financial year planning and budgeting cycle, we won\u2019t use a quantum computer for that,\u201d Whiteing said. \u201cBut, we deal essentially in our business with risk, and risk is a multivariant problem where if you are able to get bigger data sets, if you\u2019re able to run more computations, you have an advantage. So that\u2019s a very obvious path for us.\u201d\n \nSecurity concerns\n \nAnother potential uses for quantum computing CBA is considering concern secure communications, which Whiteing described as a \u201chere and now problem\u201d.\n \n\u201cEveryone today, when you\u2019re transferring money around the world it\u2019s based on encryption which is really prime number calculations, very large keys. Quantum computers will be able to break those in secondshellip; how do you communicate in a quantum state so only the people that receive it are able to decode it?\u201d\n \nCBA is not the only bank pursuing quantum solutions to security problems. In January, Westpac upped its stake in Canberra-based quantum cyber security company QuintessenceLabs.\n \nQuintessenceLabs, founded a decade ago, offers an encryption key and policy management system backed byquantum generated true random numbers. Its product's highly secure data encryption capabilities are being used extensively by Westpac to reduce the risk of identity theft and customer data breaches.\n \nCIO Dave Curransaid at the time the investment showed the importance of quantum technologies to the bank\u2019s data security capabilities.\n \n\u201cAs a major financial institution, data security and protecting our customers is of paramount importance,\u201d Curran said.