Fintech companies are leveraging smart software and mobile apps to get ahead of conventional financial players such as banks and older payment providers. This high-tech thinking in finance extends to the use of quantum computing as a way to maximize corporate profits, helping fintech and other progressive companies extend their advantage.
A recent example of how quantum computing can help businesses can be seen in the use of commercially relevant solvers by Satispay, a European fintech based in Italy. Wishing to accelerate the adoption and use of its new payment network, Satispay built a proof of concept using Wave DQuantum annealing technology, ideal for solving optimization problems.
“Together with D-Wave, we created a quantum hybrid application that demonstrated immediate business value at scale, helping us more effectively manage our rewards program to save money, improve reward appreciation and generate an increase in membership, “Dario Brignone,” Satispay founder and CTO told investors.
To understand why Brignone turned to quantum computing for answers, rather than using classical machines, it is useful to consider how the Milan-based fintech – which operates in Italy, France, Germany and in Luxembourg – is developing its presence on the market.
What is Satispay?
Italy, Satispay’s homeland, is fueled by espresso. But until Brignone and his fintech colleagues put their heads together, paying for the nation’s favorite serving of coffee by card was unheard of. The problem was due to payment processing fees, which meant cafes rarely accepted anything other than cash for food and drink bills under 10 euros.
Recognizing the financial technology opportunity, Satispay created its own network which cut out all the middlemen traditionally involved in electronic payments, which consequently proved more efficient and cheaper. Physical stores can accept transactions of up to 10 euros without any fees, while transactions above this value incur a fixed fee of just 20 cents.
Quantum computing helps Satispay’s business by finding the best combination of rewards, designed to attract new customers and keep existing users engaged with the app. When fintech users open Satispay, they see a list of nearby merchants with their current location at the top of the list – for example, if they are already in a physical store or cafe.
Taking the example of a user buying a coffee, they simply “send” the amount digitally to the store owner, who can view the transaction on their own app, or even using a traditional point-of-sale terminal. Incentives for customers include cash back, such as receiving 20% cash back on all purchases at a given store. But there are also variations, including first-time purchase reward only and additional cash back rewards that become more attractive as customers return and purchase again.
Biglietto for even smarter transport thanks to the collaboration between GTT and Satispay. The application allows you to acquire online securely on the TO Move application, by selecting the payment method. Inserting the promo code “GTT” has an income bonus of €5. pic.twitter.com/wUUf1yN78m
– GTT Turin (@GTT_Torino) October 24, 2023
“The challenge for Satispay was how to best match these offers to those who wanted to accept them,” said Murry Thom, vice president of quantum business innovation at D-Wave. Technical HQ. “And the key step when optimizing is to focus on what you’re trying to optimize.”
In the case of Satispay, the fintech payments company wanted the highest growth in its customer network for a fixed budget. However, because multiple factors all relate to the same budget, this is a problem that can become complicated even on a modest scale when modeled using a typical computer.
The good news for Satispay, highlighting how quantum computing can help business operators, is that the solver built by the team showed a 50% improvement in customer reward programs for the same budget. And that brings us directly to the “immediate commercial value” brought up by Brignone in his statement.
Quantum computing can help businesses achieve a range of business goals. Staying in the world of finance, another popular application for using physics to solve complex problems that would take too long for classical computers, is financial risk management.
Quantum algorithms have been applied in the field of portfolio management – for example, to help asset owners determine how much capital to hold in worst-case scenarios.
How to program a quantum computer?
When using our laptops and smartphones, it’s unlikely that many of us will rack our brains trying to imagine electrons flowing through transistors. However, quantum bits (qubits) have proven to be a captivating subject – for example thanks to concepts such as superposition and entanglement that begin to describe how computation takes place.
That being said, users interested in learning how quantum computing can help their business don’t need to wonder why qubits can be both zero and one and become familiar with a Hamiltonian or eigenspectrum. Quantum computing providers such as D-Wave and others have many tutorials available that answer common questions about programming a quantum computer.
Additionally, for common tasks like solving optimization problems, it’s likely that there already exists a model that users can build on rather than having to start from scratch. Satispay plans to put its application into production and expects its internal teams to use the quantum computing tool on a weekly basis.