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Banco Santander In $700-mln, 5-year Deal With IBM

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Spanish banking group Banco Santander has struck a 5-year global technology agreement with IBM, valued at about $700 million, to enable Santander Group to accelerate its business modernization using emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and Big Data.

The deal is expected to help the bank reduce annual IT spending costs, and enhance efficiency of the bank's operations.

Santander will be able to boost its services and applications with IBM's technologies, such as AI, blockchain and big data, all supported by IBM's security solutions.

Santander has already created its own Cloud Competence Center to implement its hybrid cloud strategy. IBM will collaborate with the center to define the methodologies and processes to accelerate the banks transformation.

The bank is also using a range of technologies including IBM DevOps solutions and IBM API Connect, to develop, iterate and launch new or upgraded applications and digital services much more rapidly.

IBM will also ensure confirmation with the highest level of commercial security as designated by the US government for data, applications and services. It will use IBM Security tools in areas like mobile applications and incident response to strengthen the security of its customers and operations.

Santander is already playing a leading role in the application of blockchain technology within its financial services. Santander is also a founding member of several consortia, including Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Alastria, we.trade and Utility Settlement Coin.

The bank was part of a consortium of nine European banks that successfully completed the first real time commercial cross-border trades on a new digital blockchain platform we.trade in early July.

In April 2018, the bank launched the first blockchain-based international money transfer service called "One Pay FX" across four countries, Spain, UK, Brazil and Poland, to help retail customer's complete international transfers on the same day in many cases or by the next day.

The bank has completed a first practical use of blockchain at its annual general meeting on March 23, becoming the first company to use it for investor voting.

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