Capital One Looks to the Cloud to Power Innovation Efforts

EXCLUSIVE—Cloud infrastructure and data analytics are becoming more and more integral to financial services, and Capital One is one bank ahead of the curve.

“We are a very data-driven company, we want to bring the bank to the customer,” Linda Apsley, vice president of data engineering at Capital One, said of the bank’s use of data during a fireside chat at the Cloud Analytics Summit event yesterday. “It’s really [about] moving beyond just being able to doing a deposit on your phone to knowing everything about the customer.”

Capital One considers itself just as much a technology company as it does a bank, Apsley told Bank Innovation, and its use of data is critical. The cloud provides enhanced customer insight and further levels of financial innovation — such as machine learning capabilities — that would not be possible without it, according to Apsley.

“The data ecosystem is evolving, different methods are evolving, such as two-factor authentication in [areas like] fraud,” said Apsley, adding that the new ecosystem Capital One is building out “will also help us with Eno,” the bank’s consumer chatbot or “intelligent assistant.”

To keep its focus on data-driven banking services, Capital One is integrating with offerings like Virtual Private Snowflake, a SaaS solution offered by cloud-focused data warehouse Snowflake Computing.

The key to providing cloud-based data services to the financial industry (where firms were, until recently, reluctant to use) is providing increased security and durability, Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake, told Bank Innovation.

“For on-premise [systems], you try really hard to prevent failures. For the cloud, you assume failure, and you architect for resistance,” said Muglia. “Those issues shouldn’t affect a customer.”

Snowflake, which was officially launched in 2012, also includes online lender OnDeck among its customers. The company announced the close of $105 million round of funding yesterday. Capital One contributed $5 million to the fund through its venture arm, Capital One Growth Ventures.

The company’s Virtual Snowflake product was also officially announced yesterday, with Capital One already moving integrations for products such as its “Second Look” service, which sends out alerts and other notifications to help protect consumers against fraud.

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