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March 28, 2017

Microsoft hurdles regulatory barriers to move FS data into the cloud

Company targets financial services data by meeting regulatory requirements.

By James Nunns

One of the prime targets of public cloud vendors is to break into the financial services sector, Microsoft is the latest to make a stride forward in making this a reality.

Microsoft is now able to offer the ability to store customers’ financial details in the UK, after it was made compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards.

Not only does this mean that Microsoft Azure customers can store their data in the company’s UK data centres, it also means that applications that feature financial information can be built and hosted on the Azure cloud.

PCI DSS, which will also be available as part of the Azure Resource Manager, is the Payment Card Industry Security Standard, a worldwide standard that was set up to help businesses to process card payments securely and reduce card fraud.

Graham Hill, Director of UK Commercial Markets Strategy Group at Microsoft, said: “Security is the top priority for Microsoft and its customers using the cloud, which is why today’s news that PCI-DSS is available in our UK data centres is such an important milestone. This new feature joins a range of solutions that help our customers store, manage and access their data quickly, securely and reliably.”

Read more: Mondo CEO: AWS cloud, financial regulations & why Brexit is bad news

In addition to this development, Microsoft has also launched Data Movement in its UK data centres. This is designed to help automate the movement and transformation of data from various sources.

Regulators in the UK such as a the Financial Conduct Authority and Competition and Markets Authority have paved the way for financial services to make cloud technologies more of a core component of their financial systems.

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Microsoft isn’t alone in targeting the FS industry with its cloud offering. In May last year it was revealed that FleetCor, a company that offers specialised payment products and powers more than 1.9 billion transactions per year, had decided to move its infrastructure to the IBM Cloud.

OakNorth, a UK challenger bank that specialises in small-business loans, moved its systems to Amazon Web Services while Monzo, formerly Mondo, is also using AWS.

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