CLOWD9 is a cloud-native, decentralized issuer payments processing platform. As a certified B Corp, it promises sustainable, stable, and scalable processing capabilities to handle increased transactions and API volumes on demand, anywhere around the world.
CLOWD9 is transforming banking transactions, such as issuer processing, by building cloud-native services that offer improved latency, reliability, security, and instant scalability to legacy-bound financial institutions. The company was already building on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer services to its customers, but needed help from AWS Partner Bytes to provide the instant, global support that customers require wherever they are in the world.
CLOWD9 is a startup disrupter bringing the benefits of cloud-based issuer processing to established banks and fintechs. Using CLOWD9’s services, traditional financial institutions can work just as fast as the neobanks. Built on AWS, CLOWD9’s decentralized processing platform deals with all the back-office transactions associated with any debit or credit card payment, which require the most reliable and secure systems possible.
The service is certified by Mastercard and Visa and must have the highest levels of availability and security. The company spent 3 years in ‘stealth mode’ building its systems, but already has nine signed clients in just a few months following its public launch.
The challenge for CLOWD9 was for its European-based technology team to provide high levels of customer support across the world and in different time zones. It turned to AWS Partner Bytes to help bolster its service and free its team to continue developing and improving the services it offers. Bytes also gives CLOWD9 more insight into its AWS environment to improve cost control, efficiencies, and optimization.
Although CLOWD9 has a highly skilled and experienced technical team, it was finding it hard to provide the best levels of technical support 24 hours a day from its base in Europe. After a short tendering process, it chose to work with Bytes. “They provide the reassurance that our customers need—and having them on board means we can sleep at night,” says Suresh Vaghjiani, chief executive officer at CLOWD9. “Bytes are knowledgeable, personable, and understand what we want to achieve. Knowing that they are proactively monitoring our systems and fixing issues before they arise gives us great confidence.”
Bytes are knowledgeable, personable, and understand what we want to achieve. Knowing that they are proactively monitoring our systems and fixing issues before they arise gives us great confidence
Bytes uses Amazon CloudWatch to observe and monitor resources and applications on AWS, on premises, and on other clouds. The service collects and visualizes near-real time logs, metrics, and event data in automated dashboards to streamline infrastructure and application maintenance. Using Amazon CloudWatch lets Bytes improve CLOWD9’s operational performance using alarms and automated actions.
CLOWD9 was impressed with how quickly Bytes was able to integrate its systems, begin to manage services, and provide the support it needed. “We were really impressed by how smoothly the integration went,” says Emily Utton, chief operating officer at CLOWD9. “Our DevOps team worked with Bytes and they were plugged in and monitoring endpoints within 6–8 weeks. That means we can be sure we have that 24/7 monitoring in place that is so important to our clients.”
As a startup working with large financial institutions, scalability is important. CLOWD9 must also make sure it follows all relevant financial and data protection regulations and be able to show auditors that it is doing everything correctly, too. This is made simple using Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), which offers secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload. With sustainability in mind, the infrastructure is provisioned using Amazon’s latest and most efficient compute instances with Arm-based AWS Graviton processors.
Its various global instances replicate in near-real time to deliver very high levels of data reliability. CLOWD9 can create a supporting infrastructure for a new client in a matter of days and can replicate systems in a new AWS region if a new customer requires it for any reason, such as latency or data sovereignty regulations.
Previous systems relied on the physical installation of an encrypted server into a client’s data center, which typically took months. “Working with AWS and Bytes has been a really collaborative process—in some ways they have a startup mentality,” says Emily Utton, Chief Operating Officer, CLOWD9. “We’ve had weekly calls and they are always available. We’ve had great customer and technical support when required and are already talking about new services we can offer using AWS.”
By working with Bytes AWS, CLOWD9 were able to rely on bytes to manage and monitor their endpoints using Amazon CloudWatch, ensuring 24/7 technical support, globally. Scalability was extremely important to CLOWD9 to ensure they can be agile whilst working with large financial companies and must adhere to specific regulations and so Bytes suggested Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), which offers secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload. CLOWD9 now have active coverage in four AWS regions meaning they can support their client’s needs in a matter of days rather than months.
CLOWD9 is a certified B Corporation and must demonstrate high levels of social and environmental performance to maintain its certification. AWS helps CLOWD9 retain its B Corp Certification by employing highly efficient data center designs and using 90 percent renewable energy. Beyond offering better, faster, and more reliable card processing for a lower price, CLOWD9 can also provide additional services that would be almost impossible using on-premises technology.
For example, it can offer its customers access to a richer set of data from card and mobile transactions. It can also provide much greater control over card use. AWS global scalability means CLOWD9 can quickly react to customer demand for new features or deeper data services.
Card issuers can set geographical limits on transactions, which can drill down to a town, a single store—or even a single cash register. They can provide child-parent cards with restrictions on what could be purchased, fuel cards for corporate use, and insurance payments that are limited to relevant materials for repairs. They can also provide data analytics and insight into card use to enable data-driven decision making for the card issuers. “Using AWS and Bytes means we can offer established institutions all the agility and fast delivery of new features that the neobanks currently enjoy,” says Vaghjiani. “It’s a level playing field for innovation.”