Verrency Helps Banks Enrich Their Customer Experience with AWS-Powered “Fast Innovation” API Platform
Engagement-as a-Service Offers Unprecedented Flexibility
People are getting personal with their banks. In a 2020 report, 61 percent of bank executives said they believe a customer-centric model is very important, but only 17 percent said they feel “very prepared” to execute that change. Many banks struggle to introduce innovative services due to their legacy IT infrastructure, which often runs in on-premises data centers. While modernization in these on-premises environments is possible, it can take years to accomplish.
Verrency, a global platform provider based in Australia, offers a secure application programming interface (API) platform to help banks, card issuers, and payment networks drive higher customer engagement. The company’s API platform is specifically designed to make implementing new engagement products and services more rapid and cost-effective by sitting on top of legacy architecture. Verrency’s cloud-based APIs act as a secure integration layer between FinTechs and internet or mobile-banking services.
With Verrency, banking customers can select rewards for bank-issued cards and pay with reward points at any location—without the need for banks to integrate with merchants. In 2019, for example, the company partnered with Liv. Bank to introduce a personalized credit card, allowing customers to select their preferred loyalty programs and update them anytime as their needs and preferences change.
Additionally, customers can earn miles with their preferred airline and accumulate points for discounts at their favorite store—all through one credit card. These personalized rewards lead to increased spending, which in turn benefits banks.
AWS meets our current and future technology needs on a local and global level, with constant innovation to improve available services.”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Verrency
Global Code Base with Automated Deployment
Verrency leveraged Amazon Web Services (AWS) from the start to build a distributed, fully automated platform with a global code base. Its engineers spent two years carefully designing and developing APIs that can plug into any financial system worldwide. Tier-1 banks and leading card issuers are among Verrency’s premier clients, and its APIs are deployed in countries across three continents.
Verrency uses AWS CloudFormation to automate deployments with infrastructure as code. It uses Multi-Availability Zones (Multi-AZ) to ensure high availability and failover recovery, maintaining 99.999 percent uptime. This investment in automation means that Verrency can spin up new regions and onboard customers in minutes. Automation also minimizes the potential for human error introduced in daily operational tasks such as feature releases and patching.
With automation, the company estimates it’s saving at least 200 days per deployment. “When we connect a new banking or processing client, we automatically replicate our AWS infrastructure in the region, without the need for additional local staff to handle the deployment,” says David Link, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Verrency. In most cases, Verrency stands up the infrastructure for a new client in as little as one day. And for its enterprise clients, Verrency’s engineers can begin testing almost immediately, which according to Link isn’t always the case in a traditionally slow-moving banking and financial services industry.
Compliance with Payment Industry Security Standards
Before acquiring new clients, Verrency must prove that its system adheres to the highest security standards. The Verrency platform is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Level 1 certified and SOC 2 compliant.
Verrency’s engineers followed AWS security best practices to ensure client and network segregation when setting up the infrastructure foundation for Verrency. This is particularly important for Verrency’s clients in the EU, who must adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). “Our backend looks exactly like what banks’ security architects want and expect to see. It’s designed to be transparent—and to put security and resilience first—so we typically get through new clients’ technical due diligence processes within a few days. Sometimes it’s less than a few hours,” Link says.
Peak Processing Volume of 6,000 Transactions per Second
In addition to automating deployment, Verrency has architected its platform to automatically scale during peak payment-processing times. Its platform has a high level of redundancy and is able to process at low latency up to 6,000 transactions per second (TPS) per bank or processor. Link says this TPS rate is likely enough to cover simultaneous transactions across most large countries. For comparison, Visa’s global transaction peak volume is estimated to be approximately 15,000 TPS.
To support high-performance requirements, Verrency uses Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) and Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) to deploy and scale containerized applications across regions, and AWS Fargate for serverless deployment. Relying on serverless tools keeps fixed costs down by only firing up instances when required for larger processing jobs or clients.
“AWS Fargate greatly reduces the complexity of managing on-demand computing units and autoscaling. Our DevOps overhead is low, as minimal ongoing effort is required to maintain our AWS Fargate infrastructure,” shares Fred Wu, chief technology officer at Verrency.
Buy Versus Build Approach Helps Control Costs
Verrency quickly got its business off the ground by using a “buy versus build” approach to infrastructure, opting for managed services from AWS rather than building its own technology in-house. The company also leverages many open-source software solutions such as Apache Kafka, which serves as the low-latency communication layer among banks’ IT systems, Verrency’s APIs, and FinTech extensions.
The business was an early adopter of Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) and is eagerly awaiting the official launch of Amazon Aurora Serverless v2 to further accelerate scaling during peak performance periods. “AWS services are well integrated and mature well with subsequent releases of software,” adds Link.
This managed-service and event-based approach to infrastructure complements the pay-per-use charging model on AWS, allowing Verrency to control costs no matter how fast—or far—it expands. In fact, by running on AWS instead of an on-premises architecture, Verrency has reduced its capital expenditure (capex) by at least half.
By the end of 2021, Verrency expects to have dozens of clients on its platform, up from the current 18 that are comprised of 16 banks, one processer, and one network. Verrency is also confidently expanding to a fourth continent with AWS and is exploring the use of analytics to further personalize payment experiences. “AWS meets our current and future technology needs on a local and global level, with constant innovation to improve available services,” Link concludes.
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/financial-services.
Verrency is a global provider that offers a platform using application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable payment innovations at a lower cost. Its clients in the banking and financial services industry use Verrency APIs to personalize engagement and power customer acquisition.
Benefits of AWS
- Saves 200 days per deployment
- Ensures 99.999% uptime
- Reduces capex by 50%
- Secures data and real-time payment transactions
- Scales to support 6,000 transactions per second
- Passes banking due diligence in a few days to an hour
- Controls costs with managed services and pay-per-use costing
AWS Services Used
AWS CloudFormation gives you an easy way to model a collection of related AWS and third-party resources, provision them quickly and consistently, and manage them throughout their lifecycles, by treating infrastructure as code.
AWS Fargate is a serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine that lets you focus on building applications without managing servers. AWS Fargate is compatible with both Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).
Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK)
Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.
Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. It's a fully managed, multi-region, multi-active, durable database with built-in security, backup and restore, and in-memory caching for internet-scale applications.
Companies of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS Cloud journey today.