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Currenxie Helps Its Clients Move Billions Across Borders with a One-Stop Financial Platform on AWS

2021

Currenxie accelerates the innovation of its Global Account platform while achieving compliance and improving cost efficiencies and performance. The FinTech provides companies of all sizes with a one-stop financial app to grow their business and conduct transactions globally without high cross-border transaction fees. Currenxie uses Amazon GuardDuty and AWS Security Hub to maintain a strong security posture, AWS CDK for infrastructure as code, and AWS Graviton2 processors for better price performance.

 

 

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With AWS, we can focus on bringing innovative financial solutions to our customers instead of worrying about cost, performance, and security.”

Fahd Kasri,
Chief Technology Officer, Currenxie

The Borderless Economy

The total global cross-border payment flow is increasing at a rate of 5 percent per year and is expected to hit $156 trillion by 2022, with B2B transactions accounting for approximately $150 trillion. Despite this growth, cross-border payments still face several challenges including high transaction costs, difficulty operating across time zones, and fragmented data standards.

Launched in 2014, Hong Kong–based startup Currenxie is a FinTech for the borderless economy. Its Global Account platform provides companies with a one-stop financial app to grow their business globally, with features including multi-currency digital wallets, virtual bank accounts, worldwide payments, currency exchange, and Currenxie Visa Business cards. With over 5,000 business customers globally, the platform currently works with 25 banking partners and manages $3 billion worth of annual transactions. Currenxie also has one of the largest virtual bank account networks in the world, spanning over 30 countries and 18 currencies.

A Digital-First FinTech

As a digital-native business, Currenxie believes in building on the cloud to design, develop, and test new technologies quickly. It launched its Global Account platform on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. 
 
Fahd Kasri, chief technology officer at Currenxie, explains, “By launching on AWS, we have a global footprint and a level of platform capability that would normally be unheard of for a company of our size.” 
 
To empower cross-border commerce with borderless bank payments, the startup also required a highly secure, scalable infrastructure to ensure its vertically integrated business would be compliant with financial regulations and data security standards. Kasri says, “We work with different banks throughout the world that are quite traditional. AWS lets us set up connections with these banks in a secure and compliant manner, with minimal effort.”

Powers Security at the Speed of the Business

At Currenxie, security and compliance are a shared responsibility between AWS and the business. The AWS Shared Responsibility Model alleviates Currenxie’s operational and compliance burden and allows the startup to focus on developing new features—such as its Currenxie Visa Business card—for a global customer base. “With AWS, security doesn’t have to be a burden and it can keep up with the pace of business growth,” comments Kasri.
 
Bolstering its security-first approach, Currenxie uses Amazon GuardDuty to continuously monitor for malicious or unauthorized behavior. It also relies on AWS Security Hub to automate continual security best practice checks aligned to industry and regulatory frameworks, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Center for Internet Security (CIS) Benchmarks. “Compared to many intrusion detection systems out there, Amazon GuardDuty is just as capable but a lot easier to set up and more cost-effective,” says Kasri.

Updates Software Multiple Times a Day

In addition to automating security checks, Currenxie wanted to ensure the business could push new features into development quickly and, in turn, improve their time to market. To achieve this, the startup adopted a fully managed containerized approach, using Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) to automate tasks and speed up its development process. Kasri comments, “By performing Amazon ECS blue/green deployments, we can conduct releases twice a month—or multiple times a day, if needed—without any downtime.”   
 
Global Account users are assured of frequent and highly secure releases with Amazon ECS, where issues are automatically detected during deployment. In the event bugs are identified, Currenxie can quickly rollback its platform to a working version while its team resolves the issue, ensuring zero downtime for its users. Plus, Kasri says he can sleep comfortably knowing that the infrastructure will automatically scale across Availability Zones to cope with traffic peaks when large numbers of payments are processed. 
 
To further accelerate releases, Currenxie developers adopted AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), which allows them to write infrastructure as code (IaC) using the same Typescript language used to build its software. As a result, developers are empowered to quickly build applications without learning a new language or framework. Currenxie can now build and release new features 30 percent faster since deploying AWS CDK.

Optimizes Performance and Cost

Currenxie also needed to gain control over its costs to continue growing profitably. The startup is using AWS Instance Scheduler to customize start and stop schedules for workloads, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Reserved Instances to lockdown a baseline price for compute instances, further reducing costs. Kasri adds, “We’ve cut our monthly server bills by 30 percent using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances for non-production workloads.” 
 
To further optimize costs, Currenxie uses AWS Graviton2 processors to deliver the best price performance for its production workloads. The business fully migrated its Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Amazon ElastiCache instances, as well as Amazon ECS clusters, to run on AWS Graviton2 T4g burstable EC2 instances within a month. Kasri says, “With AWS Graviton2 T4g EC2 instances, we’ve gained a 20–25 percent better price performance. We’re planning to move all our production workloads to Graviton2 by the end of 2021.”
 
Kasri concludes, “Our business is expanding rapidly, and we’re in the process of adding three to four countries to the Global Account platform network by mid-2022. With AWS, we can focus on bringing innovative financial solutions to our customers instead of worrying about cost, performance, and security.”

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/startups.

About Currenxie

FinTech Currenxie offers its Global Account platform to businesses of all sizes as a one-stop financial app for global growth. It has over 5,000 customers worldwide, processing billions worth of transactions in 18 currencies throughout over 30 countries.

Benefits of AWS

  • Powers security at the speed of the business
  • Releases software multiple times a day
  • Increases speed of development by 30%
  • Reduces server costs by 30%
  • Gains 20–25% better price performance for production workloads

AWS Services Used

AWS Graviton2-based Amazon EC2 instances

AWS Graviton processors are designed by AWS to deliver the best price performance for your cloud workloads running in Amazon EC2. AWS Graviton2 processors deliver a major leap in performance and capabilities over first-generation AWS Graviton processors.

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Amazon GuardDuty

Amazon GuardDuty is a threat detection service that continuously monitors your AWS accounts and workloads for malicious activity and delivers detailed security findings for visibility and remediation.

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Amazon Elastic Container Service

Amazon ECS is a fully managed container orchestration service that makes it easy for you to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications.

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AWS Cloud Development Kit

The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is an open-source software development framework to define your cloud application resources using familiar programming languages. Provisioning cloud applications can be a challenging process that requires you to perform manual actions, write custom scripts, maintain templates, or learn domain-specific languages.

Learn more »


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