HSBC’s journey with Amazon Cloud

Mike Warriner, Retail Banking and Wealth Management Digital CIO at HSBC, discusses how the bank uses Amazon Cloud to unlock data and deliver better customer experience at the Amazon Web Services Summit 2018

HSBC was founded more than 150 years’ ago in Hong Kong to engage the business community. Since then, it’s grown into a global bank with entities in over 60 countries, nearly 4,000 branches, and more than 2.5 trillion assets in management who help towards delivering four key services to all customers – commercial banking, retail banking, investment banking and global banking.

“We have connected our customers to opportunities through great teams and great technology. Unlocking tech has become increasingly complicated because of living in a world today where we have many, many complicated backend systems. Nevertheless, we have a very geographically dispersed team spread across the globe who work on these systems and are a highly regulated industry,” said Warriner in his keynote speech.

‘Good banking experiences’

“Most excitingly, we have a customer base who witness incredible experiences across devices and turn to us for good banking experiences.”

Two years ago, HSBC set up a new organisation called HSBC Digital to bring business and technology together, with the sole goal of “simplifying and innovating technology”.

“To do this, we needed a whole new tech stack, which is where Amazon came in, giving us a whole bunch of benefits including taking the data from our premise and pulling it into the cloud, helping us to deliver better experiences,” said Warriner.

“Security, as you might imagine, is absolutely critical and is the heart of Amazon’s Cloud. This has helped us deploy services within a matter of seconds instead of months, and has given us the ability to have increased agility, scalability, and to build a platform that our developers love.”

Monitoring environments

Currently, HSBC is engaging with customers by finding out what it is they really want from their bank. According to Warriner, Amazon Stack has helped towards this, using a bunch of technologies which takes data from the mainframes and flows it through open source technology to the be placed in Amazon’s Cloud environment.

“From that, we were then able to apply Lambda to run data and get the right message to the right customer at the right time – scaling small use cases to hundreds of thousands of transactions in a matter of seconds without developers needing to know anything about it,” continued Warriner.

Warriner also noted that HSBC uses Amazon’s DynamoDB to give the company mini-second access at global scale before its transactional data is stored in Amazon Aurora, allowing them to run hundreds of queries for insights before implementing its own monitoring environment.

Written by Leah Alger