HSBC claimed to be the first bank to trial BT Group and Toshiba’s so-called commercial quantum secure metro network, exploring how the technology can defend against future cyber threats.

The technology deployed in the network, known as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), uses particles of light and other elements fundamental to quantum physics to encrypt and decrypt sensitive data.

It is part of BT and Toshiba’s joint quantum security offering launched in April 2022, and the companies are also working in collaboration with AWS.

HSBC stated it will trial the secure transmission of data over fibre-optic cables between its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London and its data centre in Berkshire. It will also deploy QKD technology for financial transactions and video communications.

“In the future, experts predict QKD will play a key role in protecting financial transactions, client data and proprietary information across the financial sector,” explained HSBC in a statement, touting the technology’s fundamental role in securing electronic payments which rely on encryption.

The banking institution claimed the trial will help its quantum scientists and cybercrime experts to better analyse potential threats posed by increasingly sophisticated hacking strategies.

HSBC is also exploring other quantum computing applications.