Helping people build a healthier relationship with finances through a modern, innovative app
Helping people build a healthier relationship with finances through a modern, innovative app
Digital Native / Start-Up
Founded in 2022, MALY Tech is a FinTech startup on a mission to improve the financial wellness of people across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Headquartered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)—a leading international financial hub for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region—MALY launched its innovative bank-linked savings app and card designed to help consumers build a healthier relationship with money.
“As a FinTech startup,” explains Mo Ibrahim, Co-Founder, and CEO of MALY Tech, “our aim was to develop an innovative savings app backed up by a range of features to help consumers improve their financial wellness. We wanted to create a seamless user experience combining industry-leading features and functionality with on-demand performance and 24×7 availability.”
Launched in May 2023 in UAE, the MALY app help people automate savings from daily purchases, setting a weekly or monthly savings plan, create goals and accumulate savings towards achieving them. MALY features also a bank-linked savings card by Visa, offered free of charge to all MALY customers.
“One of the first decisions we made was to partner with Bespin,” continues Ibrahim. “We’ve worked with the Bespin team for almost four years on different projects and product launches, so we knew exactly the level of service and support we could expect to receive. So, choosing Bespin as our technology partner wasn’t much of a decision. It was a no-brainer. ”
“To meet MALY’s goals,” says Ibrahim, “it needed to be well thought out from the beginning. We didn’t want to do something quick and then regret it and have to redesign everything from scratch.”
Choosing the Right Partners
“We developed the initial design and architecture in-house,“ says Ibrahim, “but once we were ready to deploy in a test environment, we consulted with Bespin to validate and fine-tune the design based on their experience and best practices. They’ve been very helpful in terms of providing advice, guidance, and support with some final touches on the design itself and making sure the deployment reflects the best possible for both ourselves and our customers.”
MALY relied on several strategic partnerships to help develop and launch its flagship app. These include collaboration with leading FinTech companies like DAPI, a provider of open banking APIs enabling fintech-based apps to access real-time banking data and initiate payments from the user’s bank account, and Nymcard, a cloud-based issuer processor enabling fintech and financial innovators to quickly launch frictionless virtual and plastic card payment programs built on modern infrastructure.
“Bespin is our trusted partner and MSP for cloud deployment and operations,” explains Ibrahim, “but there will be a range of partnerships—both now and in the future—to help increase the richness and usefulness of the platform and the associated product. The fintech space is evolving rapidly, but with Bespin as our core infrastructure partner, we believe we can become a leader in our target segment.”
Choosing the Right Strategy
“We chose to go with a cloud-native microservices approach since we believe that’s the right choice for a direct-to-consumer product in terms of the use of technology, availability of tools, and cost efficiency, “ states Ibrahim. “The next decision was whether we chose AWS, Google, Microsoft, or something else as our cloud platform. Ultimately, we decided on AWS because we had prior experience and the platform has proved scalable and efficient.”
Bespin and MALY also used the project to introduce state-of-art DevOps best practices and tools to automate the development workflow and software deployment. After evaluating MALY’s planned environment and processes, Bespin recommended a suite of AWS technologies that could be seamlessly integrated and used to test the MALY app during the various integration and deployment phases from both a code and a functionality perspective.
“We felt that the best way to meet MALY’s business objectives was to build the microservices-based MALY app on AWS Fargate and deploy it using various CI/CD technologies,” states Hamzeh Shaghlil, Technical Account Manager at Bespin Global MEA.
Leveraging Modern Infrastructure
Providing increased availability, MALY’s platform runs cross-functional microservices on AWS Fargate, with different resource pools assigned for staging and production. Compatible with both Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), AWS Fargate is a serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine that provides on-demand, right-sized compute capacity, eliminating the need for administrators to provision, configure, or scale groups of virtual machines to run containers.
Bespin deployed MALY using an integrated data platform comprising Amazon RDS and Atlas MongoDB. Amazon RDS, a relational database service, was deployed to take advantage of the automated backup, multi-availability zone deployment, and encryption at rest capabilities, while Atlas MongoDB, a non-relational document database, allows users to focus on shipping features by reducing architectural complexity and seamlessly scaling operations.
In addition, AWS CloudFront, a developer-friendly, fast content delivery network (CDN) service is used to provide fast, low-latency delivery of admin content worldwide. At the same time, with AWS WAF, MALY’s web applications are protected against common web exploits that may affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources.
Streamlining the Workflow
“We decided to use AWS CodePipeline, a fully managed pay-per-use service, to automate the release pipeline for fast, reliable app updates,” says Shaghlil. “The MALY code is retrieved from the GitLab repository and deployed via AWS CodePipeline; first to the staging environment and then, after testing, to production.”
Triggered by a code change, AWS CodePipeline enables developers to rapidly and reliably deliver new features and updates via a continuous delivery service that automates the build, test, and deploy phases of the release process. CodePipeline also enables new deployments to be validated in a staging environment before changes are pushed to end users in production.
“By combining AWS CodePipeline with AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodeDeploy, we can seamlessly build, test, and deploy code as part of MALY’s release process,” says Shaghlil. “Since every app is different and each containerized microservice can be independently updated, we implemented and tested various deployment strategies to help ensure that MALY’s upgrades were seamless and unnoticeable to the end user.”
“Once it’s released to a wider audience, we expect the use of the MALY app to vary significantly from one day to the next,” says Ibrahim. “As a result, we need to be confident that our platform can scale seamlessly with maximum availability. We could manage it ourselves, but is it really necessary? We’re true believers in collaborating with the best in class to realize the best outcome. That’s why we’re working with Bespin as our MSP.”
In addition to providing 24/7 integrated support services—including application and infrastructure monitoring, incident response, backup, and disaster recovery—Bespin’s Managed Services team works directly with MALY’s team to evaluate different environment metrics—including availability, governance, and performance—using Amazon CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrail to make recommendations for optimizing the environment. As a result, the MALY app and MALY’s workload components are continually optimized using AWS and Bespin financial, operational, and security best practices.
“Bespin’s managed services team also supports MALY by tracking cost and usage trends,” adds Shaghlil. “By analyzing the information to detect usage trends and resource constraints during the stealth phase, we’re better positioned to optimize the platform and provide cost management recommendations when MALY is officially launched to a wider consumer base.”
RESULTS & BENEFITS
“Deploying MALY using a microservices architecture running on AWS in partnership with Bespin offers significant technical and business benefits,” says Ibrahim. “We’ve been able to achieve our goals by both teams working together closely to deliver the best we can. Overall, it’s been a very satisfactory project because we’ve been able to bring together the best people to create the best possible experience for our end users.”
The microservices architecture allows the MALY app to be deployed quickly and immutably while ensuring high availability, scalability, and self-healing of containerized workloads. Furthermore, with automatic deployment and release of new features—underpinned by a fully managed environment—MALY enjoys complete flexibility, making it easy to bring new fintech innovations to market.
“I’ve been working with Bespin for several years, and they’ve never let me down,” concludes Ibrahim. “What I appreciate the most is the level of consistency and professionalism that the team exhibits at all times. Of course, we’re also delighted with the deployment itself and the support we received. That’s why we’re using Bespin as our cloud management service provider. We believe in assigning the task to the best out there.”
About Bespin Global, an e& enterprise company:
An AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and AWS Managed Service Partner, BESPIN GLOBAL MEA (Middle East and Africa) is a leading provider of automated cloud solutions and consulting services, including cloud adoption, strategy, migration, implementation, Managed Services, DevOps, FinOps and Data & Analytics. Bespin is positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Professional and Managed Services, as well as a “Visionary” in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for IT Transformation Services.
In late 2022, Bespin Global MEA and e& enterprise formed a joint venture with the aim to assist enterprises in their digital transformation journey and eventually become the largest pure-play public cloud-managed and professional services provider in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan.
Bespin’s cloud FinOps management platform, OpsNow offers an automated end-to-end solution for customers to effectively manage cloud assets and costs, optimize cloud expenses, and automate the implementation of cloud governance policies across multi-cloud environments.
Address: The Offices 4, #138-139, One Central, Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC)
Telephone: 800 BESPIN (237746)
P.O. Box: 340729