How Wells Fargo is becoming quantum-ready (2024)


May 1, 2024

Wells Fargo researchers are preparing today for tomorrow’s quantum computers through strategic partnerships and industry-leading technology.

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a WellsFargo Stories series focused on quantum computing. Read part 1: “5 Big Questions on Quantum Computing Answered” and part 3: “3 Ways Quantum Computing Could Help You.”

“Wells Fargo is an amazing industry partner in the IBM Quantum Network. Their quantum researchers collaborate with us to be able to explore use cases and applications like sampling and optimization and machine learning using quantum. It’s a wonderful collaboration that we get to do.”— Dario Gil, IBM SVP and Director of Research

Key takeaways

  • Quantum technology is still in its infancy, but WellsFargo developers have already created nearly a dozen viable quantum algorithms or software solutions.
  • Developers use real quantum computers via IBM and other partners to build and test their work, including WellsFargo’s industry-leading quantum simulator, SpinozaTM.
  • Quantum computing may have real, practical applications to help banks like WellsFargo detect scams, optimize investment portfolios, and more.

You may be surprised to learn where the ideas for practical applications that tap into breakthrough quantum computing technology are being explored. This work is happening at a bank.

Developers across WellsFargo’s technology teams have published 10 research papers — and counting — outlining algorithms and other software solutions to be used on quantum computers in the future. But these aren’t just ideas. They’re viable applications tested on real quantum computers, and it’s how WellsFargo is preparing for when quantum technology advances far enough that it begins revolutionizing industry after industry, banking included.

“These papers reflect theoretical solutions, but we have implementation plans, too,” said Constantin Gonciulea, a technology fellow at WellsFargo working on emerging technologies like quantum computing and blockchain. “When we release a paper, it’s implemented. It’s a solution that works at the small scale.”

A team of technology experts at WellsFargo have been getting ready for quantum computing’s impact on the future of financial services for years. That has meant finding research and development partners, such as:

  • The IBM Quantum Network, a collaboration that allows WellsFargo developers to access IBM’s fleet of quantum computers via the cloud
  • MIT, Stanford University, and small universities that partner with WellsFargo advanced technology researchers
  • Quantum-focused companies like QCWare, which offers quantum coding tools, and Oxford Quantum Circuits, which has a small-scale quantum computer for testing

“WellsFargo is an amazing industry partner in the IBM Quantum Network,” said Dario Gil, IBM’s senior vice president and director of Research. “Their quantum researchers collaborate with us to be able to explore use cases and applications like sampling and optimization and machine learning using quantum — all in an effort to start seeing valuable results from quantum computing. It’s a wonderful collaboration that we get to do.”

How could quantum computing benefit the financial services industry?

Think of quantum computing as specialized high-performance computing, Gonciulea said. While not every problem requires the super-fast speeds and pattern recognition that come with quantum computing, it may soon revolutionize the right task with a fraction of the time and hardware compared with regular “classical” computers.

“Quantum computing is like a helicopter. Classical computing is like a car. A helicopter can do a lot of things a car can’t do, but if you want to go get groceries, you’re not going to use a helicopter,” Gonciulea said. “They complement each other.”

Being quantum-ready may mean that WellsFargo will have the right technology when the next scam comes so it’s detected and thwarted much more quickly, protecting your money. Or it could mean higher-earning investment portfolios due to faster machine learning models.

Researchers are finding the problems that quantum could solve. For example, Vanio Markov, a distinguished engineer at WellsFargo, has worked with IBM Research to test and implement new machine learning generative models, using quantum to potentially improve our artificial intelligence technology.

“There is a lot of hype around quantum computing. Our job is to monitor what is going on — is it hype? What is it promising? What can it solve? It would be a mistake not to be involved at all,” Gonciulea said. “We want to be quantum-ready.”

Innovation from the inside out

Many quantum breakthroughs will happen behind the scenes for customers.

For example, in 2023, Gonciulea and two engineers on his team — Saveliy Yusufov and Charlee Stefanski — published a paper on Spinoza, a new quantum simulator they developed at WellsFargo. They named it after 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza who theorized that each interaction changes a person, which is similar to what happens inside a quantum computer.

Spinoza is one of the fastest quantum simulator of its kind in the industry. Simulators like Spinoza, which uses classical computing to simulate a quantum computer’s processing power and scale, are extremely in-demand because they allow researchers to test tomorrow’s quantum software on today’s computers. While it won’t revolutionize the banking experience right now, innovations like Spinoza bring a quantum future into clearer focus.

“Having one of the fastest [quantum] simulators is also a badge of honor,” Gonciulea said. “It shows we are an industry leader.”

Gonciulea is careful to avoid the considerable hype and headlines around quantum computing. WellsFargo’s considered investments into this novel technology are meant to find and solve real problems for customers.

“This isn’t some shiny thing,” he said. “We are expanding our horizon.”

Quantum computing: By the numbers*

How Wells Fargo is becoming quantum-ready (3)

.015 kelvins
The operating temperature of quantum computing systems, or approximately -459.643 Fahrenheit or -273.135 Celsius. That’s (much) colder than space.

Countries have a strategy or initiative to develop quantum technology.

$40 billion
The amount of public funding quantum science and technologies have attracted around the globe.

The number of qubits inside IBM’s Osprey chip, the company’s most powerful quantum processor today.

Countries that have national quantum computing strategies, with others soon to join.

*Data as of March 2024.

How Wells Fargo is becoming quantum-ready (2024)


How Wells Fargo is becoming quantum-ready? ›

Developers use real quantum computers via IBM and other partners to build and test their work, including Wells Fargo's industry-leading quantum simulator, SpinozaTM. Quantum computing may have real, practical applications to help banks like Wells Fargo detect scams, optimize investment portfolios, and more.

What makes Wells Fargo stand out? ›

Overall, the bank's combination of tools that give customers a more centralized view of their finances, and design elements that make products and services easy to locate and understand are key reasons why Wells Fargo achieved leading customer ratings in the ease of use category.

What is so good about Wells Fargo? ›

We at the MarketWatch Guides team give Wells Fargo 3.8 out of 5 stars after evaluating factors including its branch availability, account fees, interest rates and customer support. The company gains points for the number of products it offers, its large number of physical branches and its mobile app.

How hard is it to get into quantum computers? ›

The field of quantum computing requires a broad mastery of science and math, as you will work with numbers and calculations almost every day. Jobs in quantum computing typically require at least a bachelor's degree in one of the following areas: Mathematics. Physics.

What banks use the quantum financial system? ›

Big investment banks like JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, and IBM (IBM) are just some companies at the forefront of implementing quantum computing in the financial industry.

What makes Wells Fargo better than other banks? ›

Wells Fargo stands out from other banks if you prioritize an extensive branch and ATM network. Wells Fargo also has a variety of bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and loan types, so it may be worthwhile if you want to do all your banking with one financial institution.

Who is Wells Fargo biggest competitor? ›

The main competitors of Wells Fargo are three of the other big four major U.S. banks—JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Combined, these four banks together hold between 40% to 45% of all bank deposits in the country and serve the majority of personal and commercial accounts in the United States.

Which is the No. 1 bank of the USA? ›

Chase Bank

Is Wells Fargo a safe bank now? ›

Wells Fargo is insured by the FDIC, so deposits up to $250,000 are safe. However, the bank has had several financial scandals that involved financial harm to customers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Wells Fargo to pay $3.7 billion in 2022 for repeated infractions.

Which is better, JP Morgan or Wells Fargo? ›

Wells Fargo & Co currently has a 2.3% dividend yield. Currently, JPMorgan Chase & Co's price-earnings ratio is 11.8. JPMorgan Chase & Co's trailing 12-month revenue is $181.0 billion with a 26.8% net profit margin. Year-over-year quarterly sales growth most recently was 28.2%.

Why quantum computers will fail? ›

This noise wreaks havoc, generating errors or even stopping a quantum computation in its tracks. It doesn't matter how big your processor is, or what the killer applications might turn out to be: unless noise can be tamed, a quantum computer will never surpass what a classical computer can do.

Can anyone buy a quantum computer? ›

Can You Buy a Quantum Computer? Yes, it's possible to buy a quantum computer in 2023. However, quantum computers are not yet widely available to the general public and are currently very expensive and extremely difficult to manufacture.

What bank would a billionaire use? ›

J.P. Morgan Private Bank is the more elite program serving ultra-high-net-worth individuals,” Naghibi said. “It offers comprehensive services in savings, checking and retirement account management. But, more than anything, it gives clients access to their bank and team with a concierge feel.”

What kind of banks do billionaires use? ›

Private Banks

These services are especially appealing as they help the ultra-rich grow and preserve their wealth. Private banks also offer high-value financing for assets like aircrafts, yachts and real estate, with some banks even offering asset and lifestyle management rather than just financial products.

What bank does the US government use? ›

The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States.

What sets Wells Fargo apart from other banks? ›

Wells Fargo is among the top five banks in the United States. The bank makes money by lending out at a higher rate than it borrows. Wells Fargo operates four segments including Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management.

What are Wells Fargo's core values? ›

We strive for the highest ethical standards with team members, customers, our communities and shareholders. Honesty, trust and integrity are essential for meeting the highest standards of corporate governance. They're not just the responsibility of our senior leaders and our board of directors. We're all responsible.

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