Contributed by: Geoff Soon, Managing Director, South Asia, Snowflake

Financial services institutions (FSI) are embarking on digital transformation journeys. With the confluence of factors such as evolving consumer needs, the rise of new technologies and alternative business models, the industry as a whole is accelerating its migration to the cloud. Moreover, under tough economic conditions due to the COVID-19 crisis and highly fragmented global regulatory standards, banks and financial services are seeing the need to implement cloud strategies to build resiliency and drive regulatory compliance.

According to IDC’s latest market presentation, State of Cloud in Financial Services Industry for Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) for 2020, cloud is playing a significant role in the industry’s modernisation and transformations efforts. The research reveals that more than 40 percent of the FSIs in the region are already running their workloads and IT jobs in a multi-tenant public cloud. Additionally, close to 30 percent of the banks are currently running workloads in the private cloud with some companies planning to move to public cloud within the next 24 months. By 2023, IDC predicts that FSIs’ public cloud spend in the region will reach US$13.9 billion, growing at a compound annual rate of over 30 percent.

Data is the fuel of the financial services industry, powering everything from retail banking transactions to insurance claims to online payments. To leverage the power of data, improve operational efficiency and generate business value for the banking industry, investments toward cloud-based technologies should be at the top of priorities.

Here are three ways financial services companies can benefit from a cloud data platform:


Today’s consumers are looking for unique and personalised customer experience. For some customers, personalisation can be a deciding factor whether the business relationship will continue or not. With access to a massive volume of consumer data, banks and financial institutions have the opportunity to deliver a personalised experience to customers.

For a personalisation strategy to be successful, full visibility into customer interactions in real-time is fundamental. With the help of cloud platforms, businesses can house all types of data such as clickstream, transactional and third-party data in one secure place. Also, cloud data platforms can ingest structured and unstructured data coming from various sources including customer relationship management systems, customer transactions and the Internet of Things. With data converging on one platform, organisations can gain a 360-degree view of customer behaviour and preferences from multiple inputs.

With this capability, organisations can pinpoint high-value customers and ensure they have a good experience at every touchpoint.


Cloud data platforms offer direct and secure sharing of data without the complexity, cost and risk associated with legacy data warehouses. With simpler, enhanced data sharing, financial institutions leverage public data sets by adding new business lines of data products and services.

For instance, offering a stand-alone data product to data consumers can open new revenue streams. Financial services companies that collect tick-by-tick stock market data is an example of this. Using cloud data platforms, these financial data vendors can create data projects that they can sell to hedge funds.

On the other hand, with insights derived from customer transactions, spending and payment patterns and product inquiries, banks can create new consumer products and services that address specific customer needs. By breaking through barriers between disparate data systems, cloud platforms empower companies to find new sources of revenue and expand business opportunities.


Financial services organisations are under constant attack from cyberthreats and fraudsters. With high costs involved, financial institutions cannot afford the risk of being unprepared. As cloud data platforms can ingest and analyse various data types, it can serve as the first line of defence against cyberattacks. With automatic and infinite scalability, per-second compute pricing, and low storage costs, financial institutions can affordably store petabytes of historical data and index all of their cybersecurity, anti-fraud, and machine- and customer-generated data. With the use of advanced data analytics, banks and FSIs can then use detection rules and enhanced visualisations to pick up aberrations in transactions.

Combined with high-volume data storage, In-depth finance data analytics can help detect risks quickly, often in real-time. The result is higher data security, cost-effective investigations, and earlier detection.

A cloud data platform provides the foundation on which companies can build a technology stack that will deliver business agility and growth. For financial services companies aiming to deliver a unique, personalised customer experience, gain higher profitability and establish stronger security measures, having the right data infrastructure and tools is a step in the right direction.

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