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How Wallester Meets Security and Compliance Standards Faster Using AWS

In today’s highly competitive fintech landscape, keeping customer information safe is paramount to success for Wallester.

Drove 5x

year over year (YoY) growth in revenue

Increased 10x

YoY growth in cards issued

Supported 5x

YoY organizational growth 

Successfully launched

the Wallester Business solution

Overview | Finding a Partner to Support Innovation

In 2017, when Wallester decided to build and launch a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, it knew that it needed a secure, compliant, and scalable infrastructure. Building on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the medium-sized financial institution can run security more efficiently and cost-effectively, compared to building and managing its own physical security systems. This empowers the team to focus on providing its ever-growing customer base with the most secure and technologically advanced embedded financial solutions available today.

Wallester is a licensed Estonian financial institution that specializes in developing innovative digital financial technology. The company's primary line of business is its Wallester White-Label solution, which enables other businesses to offer personalized payment cards to their clients. The company's latest rapidly growing offering, Wallester Business, aims to evolutionize how organizations from all industries deal with corporate expense management. Wallester was eager to create a scalable and easy-to-use payment system that would offer its partners modern functionalities at affordable prices. The solution—a BaaS platform. BaaS provides banking through a third party to help integrate nonbanking businesses with a regulated financial infrastructure.

One of the critical points when building a new financial platform is to choose the optimal location for IT infrastructure, to reach as many customers as possible while maintaining security and ensuring compliance. Wallester needed an infrastructure that was scalable, available, and reliable.

Woman on cell phone

Opportunity | Establishing a Secure and Scalable Foundation  

Creating Wallester’s own data center required substantial financial investment and resources, to manage it and keep it running—while also being flexible. Meanwhile, the cloud would make it easy to build a scalable solution that could seamlessly expand in multiple regions and keep costs low. Wallester’s IT team, which had past positive experiences building on AWS, wanted a cloud provider that was already meeting the demanding requirements of other high-profile organizations. The company turned to AWS as its preferred cloud provider for building a secure, scalable, and reliable BaaS platform.

Wallester started with essential services, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), AWS CodeBuild, and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and later implemented complex security services, including AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) and AWS CloudHSM (CloudHSM).

From the beginning, the company found the process of establishing its infrastructure within AWS to be clear and intuitive. On the rare occasions when the firm needed help, AWS teams provided immediate support—from quickly solving minor challenges to working through more complex questions—so that the team could continue to move forward at a productive pace.


The key strengths of AWS are the compliance support it offers as well as the shared responsibility model. This saved us a lot of energy and brought huge benefits to our business in the shortest possible time."

Sergei Astafiev
Cofounder and CEO, Wallester

Solution | Reducing Risk and Maintaining Compliance in a Highly Regulated Industry  

Managing regulatory compliance is a complex and challenging task for financial institutions. Failing to meet regulations can have serious consequences—particularly with companies operating globally. To ensure compliance, companies sometimes need to hire specialized staff and deliver extensive training, resulting in a significant amount of resources dedicated to effective risk management.

For example, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) certification is a set of requirements designed to protect credit card information. But certification requires enormous preparation and resources. Wallester needed to solve the encryption of the hardware security module (HSM), which is mandatory for use in the card world. CloudHSM helped to meet the corporate, contractual, and regulatory compliance requirements for data security. This way, along with AWS KMS—which is already PCI-DSS compliant—the company can fulfill the main security requirements for the storage of card data in its databases. As a result, Wallester reduced the cost of owning and managing regular on-premises HSM modules. Without the burden of building and managing physical security systems, the firm can focus directly on customer needs, providing the most secure and technologically advanced embedded financial solutions in the modern fintech market.

The automated compliance and security capabilities provided by AWS helped Wallester become one of the first financial service providers in the world to receive PCI-DSS certification and enable payment transactions in the cloud. Additionally, it has become the first financial cloud operator to be certified by the Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA). Sergei Astafjev, Wallester co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), says, “AWS’s key strengths are the compliance support they offer, as well as the shared responsibility model. This saved us a lot of energy and brought huge benefits to our business in the shortest possible time.”

In addition to helping fintech firms achieve PCI-DSS certification, AWS maintains nearly 100 security standards and compliance certifications, with encryption available for all 117 services that store customer data. Moreover, AWS participates in the voluntary Security, Trust, Assurance and Risk (STAR) program of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) to document compliance with best CSA-published practices.

Outcome | Realizing other Benefits, Including Scalability and Agility  

Because its BaaS platform was created in the cloud from the ground up, Wallester was ready to take full advantage of cloud capabilities to bring the new platform to market. Using AWS as its foundational architecture, Wallester could conceptualize, build, and launch dozens of unique financial solutions across its flagship White-Label offering, in addition to its rapidly growing Wallester Business arm—all of which operate through the AWS Cloud.

To serve new markets and customers, fintech firms also need to be able to scale easily. Using AWS, it’s simple for Wallester to build a scalable solution that can seamlessly expand in multiple regions—without overspending. Today, the organization serves hundreds of companies across Europe with unique financial solutions through the cloud, which sets the company apart from the competition that still operates traditional hardware infrastructures. The company also improved its efficiency by implementing the AWS approach of infrastructure as code to speed up technological processes.

About Wallester

Wallester is a licensed financial institution from Estonia, specializing in developing innovative digital financial technology. The company offers best-in-class innovative financial solutions, providing increased speed to market for financial products, flexible pricing, compliance with regulatory requirements, and full support of their customer’s solution infrastructure.

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 600 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload.

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Amazon EKS

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed Kubernetes service to run Kubernetes in the AWS cloud and on-premises data centers.

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AWS CodeBuild

AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed continuous integration service that compiles source code, runs tests, and produces ready-to-deploy software packages.

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Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is a collection of managed services that makes it simple to set up, operate, and scale databases in the cloud.

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