JP Morgan Chase to replace core banking system with Google-inspired cloud platform

JP Morgan Chase is the latest bank to acquire the cloud-native core banking technology of UK fintech Thought Machine

US bank JP Morgan Chase is replacing its core banking system with a cloud-native system from UK fintech Thought Machine.

The Google-inspired system, known as Vault, enables banks to offer functionality and ease of use for customers similar to that offered by the internet giants.

Thought Machine, which was set up in 2016, is the London-based brainchild of ex-Google executives – including Paul Taylor, the internet giant’s former head of text-to-speech.

Following the announcement, Chase CIO Rohan Amin said the Vault platform would enable the bank to take full advantage of the cloud. “Its Smart Contracts framework allows JP Morgan Chase to build on its world-class customer offering and continue to provide its customers with innovative and cutting-edge banking services,” he said.

The deal with JP Morgan Chase adds another big name to Thought Machine’s roster of customers, which already includes Lloyds Banking Group, Atom Bank, Standard Chartered and Sweden’s SEB.

Thought Machine’s founder and CEO, Paul Taylor, said: “JPMorgan Chase represents one of the most ambitious, powerful financial institutions in the world, and our joint work signals to the finance industry that cloud-native core banking technology is the future for financial services.”

Traditional banks are trying to move away from legacy IT systems which are expensive to maintain and inflexible when it comes to launching new digital offerings. Thought Machine offers them the opportunity to migrate customer accounts to a cloud-native platform.

Taylor is heavily influenced by Google following his time at the internet giant. He was an academic at Edinburgh University in the 1990s and focused on search technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

He then moved on to set up two companies – one of them, Phonetic Arts, was acquired by Google in 2010, which became the text-to-speech system for Google. This is the system behind the driving directions and voice search from Google.

Separately, JP Morgan Chase this week launched its UK digital retail bank in the UK, known as Chase. Through an app, the bank is offering consumers an account they can sign up to in minutes offering features to help them budget, manage money, spend and save.

Sanoke Viswanathan, CEO of the bank’s international consumer growth initiative, said: “We’re offering people in the UK the opportunity to experience Chase for the first time with a current account that’s based on simplicity, a fuss-free rewards programme and exceptional customer service.

“Having spoken extensively to consumers across the UK, we know that people want good value combined with an excellent experience, from a trusted bank.”

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