Yedpay Equips Small Businesses with a Highly Secure Payment Platform Using AWS


Helping Independent Stores Do Business

When thousands of small, independent stores and market-stall holders in Hong Kong depend on your payment gateway to enable the daily transactions that keep their businesses going, you can’t afford downtime. This was why Hong Kong–based Yedpay, a secure payment platform, decided to rethink its IT strategy after experiencing problems with the reliability of its data center. Alva Wong, cofounder of Yedpay, says, “We had a disaster that brought down our service for hours. It impacted our merchants and made us think about whether we wanted to continue developing the business and help our customers compete using an on-premises infrastructure.”

At first, Yedpay looked at failing over from its on-premises data center to the cloud if disaster struck again. However, the more the company investigated the cloud, the more a complete migration seemed like the better option. Wong explains, “By fully migrating to a cloud platform with a pay-as-you-go model, we realized that we could gain the performance and reliability we needed while reducing our overall costs.”

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We can reinvest the 40% savings from using AWS in other areas of the business, such as product development, to accelerate growth.”

Alva Wong
Co-Founder, Yedpay

A Highly Secure Global Solution

Yedpay looked at several cloud service providers, including the Alibaba Cloud, before choosing Amazon Web Services (AWS). “We decided on AWS because of the AWS Global Cloud Infrastructure,” says Wong. “It has millions of active customers worldwide and 22 regions with multiple AWS Availability Zones. This is important for us because we want to develop our market overseas and continue to use the cloud to run our IT.”

Security is also a priority for Yedpay’s cloud infrastructure. The company needed to ensure it stayed compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which banks and major credit-card companies require of payment-gateway providers. Wong says, “Because AWS is already PCI DSS certified, it allowed us to focus on improving other areas of our infrastructure with the confidence that our payment gateway platform is fully compliant with global information security standards.”

Migrates to the AWS Cloud in One Month

Yedpay engaged with Fortinet, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner, to ensure consistent security policies on the AWS Cloud. The business has been working with Fortinet for over five years to create firewall solutions. To maximize security, Yedpay now implemented the Fortinet Security Fabric, which includes FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls that complement native AWS security groups. At the same time, Yedpay migrated its applications and database for the payment gateway from the on-premises data center to the AWS Cloud. Both the Fortinet Security Fabric deployment and the migration process were completed quickly. Says Wong, “The agility of the AWS Cloud allowed us to complete a full migration in a month, compared to the 6–9 months it took to launch our on-premises data center.”

To complete the migration, the IT team first created a disaster recovery (DR) environment on the AWS Cloud and synchronized data from the on-premises production environment. The team then built a new production environment on the AWS Cloud and synchronized it with the cloud-based DR environment. Yedpay then switched its operations to run all-in on the AWS Cloud and decommissioned its on-premises site. Wong says, “Once we’d built the cloud-based production environment, we only needed a couple of days to perform testing before the switchover. This was carried out without any downtime impacting customers.”

To run its payment gateway, Yedpay deployed its Linux-based application and database servers to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. Attached to the instances are Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes, which provide throughput in milliseconds, the speed required for payment transactions. Yedpay uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store backups and monitor logs, which are collected using Amazon CloudWatch and integrated with Yedpay’s security information and event management systems. Finally, Yedpay uses AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) to create and manage cryptographic keys to control access to AWS services and help with regulatory and compliance needs.

Pay-as-You-Go Model Supports Business Growth

By migrating to AWS, Yedpay moved from a capex model for IT to an opex model. As a result, the company doesn’t have to make large, upfront IT investments that may not be fully utilized. With an opex pay-as-you-go model from AWS, Yedpay’s IT investments are aligned with its business needs. Wong says, “With AWS, we have a highly available infrastructure that we can simply scale up to support the growing number of transactions through the processing gateway, which are currently more than 10,000 a day.”

Reduces IT Costs by 40%

In addition to decreased investments, Yedpay has also lowered its IT costs by 40 percent. The savings include no longer having to dedicate resources to the security of an on-premises data center network or a physical infrastructure. Additionally, the per-second billing of Amazon EC2 instances has contributed to lower compute costs. Wong comments, “We can reinvest the 40 percent savings from using AWS in other areas of the business, such as product development, to accelerate growth. For example, the 3,000-plus businesses using our payment service in Hong Kong want a breakdown of transactions to gain insight into their sales. We can drive the development of our platform’s data analytics services using the savings we’re making.”

Increases Resources for Development Team by 50%

Because AWS focuses on maintaining the security, availability, and performance of the core infrastructure, Yedpay has scaled back its investment in infrastructure management. Instead, the company is investing funds in the development team and has increased funding by 50 percent since migrating to the AWS Cloud. The increased resources helped speed up the integration of UnionPay—a leading card payments service in Hong Kong—to work alongside credit companies, such as Mastercard, Visa, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay, and WeChat Pay on the gateway. It is also helping Yedpay to accelerate the integration of the JCB payment card, a credit card from Japan. Wong says, “More people expect the convenience of making card payments wherever they make purchases, and we’re making sure small businesses don’t get left behind and can meet these needs with our payment gateway running on AWS.”

About Yedpay

Yedpay is a Hong Kong–based independent financial technology company and licensed money service operator founded in 2014. The startup is fully certified in PCI DSS and ISO 27001, and it mainly serves small businesses in Hong Kong with mobile point-of-sale and ecommerce payment solutions.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reduces IT costs by 40%
  • Aligns IT investments with business needs using pay-as-you-go model
  • Increases development resources by 50%
  • Maintains compliance with PCI DSS
  • Aligns IT investment with business needs
  • Completes migration and application deployment in 1 month

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction.

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Amazon Elastic Block Store

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is an easy to use, high performance block storage service designed for use with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for both throughput and transaction intensive workloads at any scale. A broad range of workloads, such as relational and non-relational databases, enterprise applications, containerized applications, big data analytics engines, file systems, and media workflows are widely deployed on Amazon EBS.

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Amazon Simple Storage Service

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. This means customers of all sizes and industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for a range of use cases, such as websites, mobile applications, backup and restore, archive, enterprise applications, IoT devices, and big data analytics.

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AWS Key Management Service

AWS Key Management Service (KMS) makes it easy for you to create and manage cryptographic keys and control their use across a wide range of AWS services and in your applications. AWS KMS is a secure and resilient service that uses hardware security modules that have been validated under FIPS 140-2, or are in the process of being validated, to protect your keys.

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