YeLo Bank, a digital-only, mobile-first neobank focused on serving mass-market consumers, has won the AWS Startup Architecture Challenge of the Year 2020 India finals. AWS Startup Architecture Challenge is an initiative as part of which AWS Startup customers in select regions get the opportunity to showcase their unique and innovative architecture platforms built on AWS. As a regional winner, YeLo has been awarded $25k in AWS Credits.

Watch Nishant Chandra, Co-founder and CTO, YeLo Bank, sharing the startup’s journey so far, the challenges they faced along the way and why they built the neobank’s technology stack on AWS.

Yelo was among the eight finalists shortlisted to pitch for the regional finals. The other finalists included Recko, Niyo, SurveySparrow, inVOID, Trapyz, NIRA and KredX. The startups pitched to a jury consisting of Kiran Darisi, Co-founder & Distinguished Engineer, Freshworks; Harishankaran K, Co-founder, HackerRank; Braj Kishore Mahto, Global Head- Database Services, Vinculum Solutions; Neeraj Chauhan · Vice President, PayU, Kailash Nadh. CTO, Zerodha and Akash Singh, Co-Founder and CTO, Observe.ai. The startups shared a brief overview of their innovative architecture and how they were leveraging the many capabilities of AWS to drive advantage to their business. While Yelo Bank was judged the India winner, inVOID, Trapyz, NIRA, KredX, Niyo, SurveySparrow and Recko were the runners-up.

In his winning pitch, Nishant Chandra, said that the startup built the neo banking stack on AWS. He also said that the services within AWS constitute a significant portion of all the functionality required to run a retail bank while also powering the banking solution.

He noted, “A digital bank stands for trust and that translates directly to security and reliability. And this is reflected in the architecture. The request origin from the customer app passes through the AWS WAF and Amazon API gateway onwards to the customer service. The stack is divided into three different sections. The AWS services handle security configurations and monitors and prevent different threat vectors and the microservices deployed on Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) offer resilience.”

He added, “Given that account ledgers are at the heart of the banking system, Amazon QLDB makes for a perfect solution for realising immutable ledger as it has inbuilt data integrity functions.”

Nishant explained that in the cardholder data environment (CDE) AWS WAF helps reduce the attack surface area and Amazon GuardDuty takes care of continuous security monitoring. “On compliance AWS Fargate emerged as the hero. It limited the scope of assessment. There is no need for Bastion hosts to manage, update or patch the servers,” he said. In his pitch he also explained how AWS services such as Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and other services brought in key benefits to the platform’s architecture. Summing up, he said, “By picking AWS services and plugging it at the right place, we were able to build a simple, elegant and secure architecture. The most important benefit of this architecture is that it reduces operational risk so that we can focus on productivity.”

Here’s a quick look at the startups that made it to the AWS Startup Architecture Challenge 2020 India Finals:

  • Recko.io enables AI-powered reconciliation of digital transactions and keeps track of the complete transaction lifecycle and commercial contracts for organisations.
  • Niyo is India’s largest and fastest-growing neobanking platform whose mission is to empower its users to take charge of their personal finances.
  • NIRA is a finance company whose mission is to bring access to credit to millions of underserved Indians. Their first product is a line of credit of up to Rs 1 lakh that can be availed credit whenever and wherever a user wants.
  • inVoid is an AI verification startup that provides instant verification solutions. Their product has been created to verify users remotely without any physical documentation and in-person verification and enabling the remote onboarding of users driven by AI.
  • YeLo Bank is a digital-only, mobile-first neobank focused on serving mass – market consumers – the ‘Next Half Billion’ people who will be coming online in the next five years. It offers an optimum basket of financial products that are meant to meet their unique needs, unlike the standard offerings from traditional financial service providers.
  • KredX is an invoice discounting platform which helps businesses gain quick access to working capital and provides investors with a chance to earn high returns at low risks.
  • Trapyz provides brands and marketers with AI-driven insights for a better understanding of real-world consumer journeys, delivering intent-based audience segmentation by analyzing patterns in multi-dimensional data.
  • SurveySparrow’s the world’s first survey software to offer both a conversational and form-like output, increasing the survey completion rate by 40 per cent. With Conversational User Interface (CUI), SurveySparrow lets users create and share highly engaging, mobile-first surveys that offer a chat-like experience.

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