Join us for an AMA with Head of Architecture, Rohan Sharp - 2pm 26/02


Our fantastic and multi-talented :small_red_triangle_down: Head of Architecture :small_red_triangle: Rohan aka @sharpiexinja will be online in this thread from 2 - 2.30pm AEST this Wed 26th Feb. He’ll be answering any questions you have on Xinja architecture; how we designed and built and are continuing to build a bank fully in the cloud :cloud: in the best possible way. So ask away now or join him on Wednesday live to put him on the spot :pushpin:

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Rohan @sharpiexinja will be going live in just a few hours (2 - 2.30pm) but you can post your questions on this thread now :speech_balloon::question:

To get started, let’s find more about him:

Can you tell us what you do at Xinja?
What makes you most proud of working with Xinja?
What’s your favourite Xinja feature?

Hey @sharpiexinja

Apart from having REAL ‘real time’ data, what’s are the top 3 benefits of Xinja’s tech stack that Xinja’s customers will experience?

:nerd_face: :thinking: :bulb: :ninja_emojis_pink_02: :cloud:

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Hey @sharpiexinja

How do you see Xinja architecture evolving? How much is Xinja ready to integrate with Open Banking paradigm?

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How is Xinja’s architecture going to be different than an old fashioned bank

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Thanks @xinja_blair. Hi everyone! Great to be here. Looking forward to the challenging questions coming my way!

Can you tell us what you do at Xinja?
Well, anything from technology strategy, pulling together designs for specific features, working with our engineers and CTO on how we evolve our own platform, helping with selection and implementation of third party software solutions, you name it. Basically I’m responsible for technical strategy and solutions at Xinja and making sure they’re aligned with the best customer outcome and the overall Xinja strategy.
What makes you most proud of working with Xinja?
Where to start … it has to be the commitment to doing the right thing by our customers. We’re up front that we want to be profitable, but we’re truly committed to doing this in an ethical way. This aligns with my personal values entirely. Doing all of that using modern tech and architecture makes me proud and confident that we will be able to meet this high bar at scale.
What’s your favourite Xinja feature?
Well, the stash interest rate is definitely up there and I really like the round up feature that we’ve just released. It’s a great way to save without realising you’re doing it. More awesome features on the horizon too!

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Hi @XinjaHustler - that’s a good one to start out with.

The top 3 that I see are:

  1. The first one relates to security. Our architecture uses modern cloud based platforms and patterns that allow us to keep all software up to date without massive upgrades or changes. Legacy is minimised and our systems are kept secure.
  2. The above also means that we can rapidly add new features - whether we build them ourselves or incorporate them from third parties.
  3. The ability to use data in real time to give our customers insights into their financial habits and help them improve them. Sorry - had to have one plug for the data!
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What was the greatest challenge faced with Regulatory bodies when putting the core banking system in the cloud?

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Great to see you @BBQXinja. Keep flicking those snags!

I think it comes down to the lack of legacy. We’re built on cloud - with no on premise data centres. We leverage microservice and event sourcing based architectures.

This means that we’re able to build solutions with a level of security and reliability that are traditionally only available to the major banks - at a fraction of the cost. We are, therefore, able to invest in solutions that benefit our customers without charging exorbitant fees or interest.

This also means that we’re able to rapidly roll out new features as we grow and the needs of our customers change.

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Hi @sharpiexinja,

I see you’ve mentioned no legacy and realtime data processing but given Xinja is not operating in a Vacuum what are some of the challenges Xinja has experienced integrating / cooperating with other partners who are not as real time and what are some of the sort of solutions you’ve put in place.

~ BobtheXinja

How much faster do you think Xinja can iterate and innovate compared to a legacy bank?

Hi @sharpiexinja I’d like your best description of ‘event-driven architecture’ and why it’s cool. :ninja_emojis_pink_03:

We have in place today a solid digital foundation that we will be able to build on over the coming years. As we identify and roll out new features our platform will be built out to support them. I think you’re right to call out open banking specifically. It has always been a goal of Xinja since the early days to give our customers access to their own data. Open banking is central to this. I look forward to the day that creative fintechs can use Xinja’s services to provide value add services to our customers - in a highly secure way of course.

Having realtime data unlocks a universe of possibilities!

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Good question. I can tell you the Australian banking system is in good hands - we were put through an extremely rigorous process. Putting banking systems in the cloud bring with them a set of risks that aren’t faced by on premise deployments. Out biggest challenge was showing the regulators that we had crystal clear visibility of what those risks were and what controls we needed to put in place to manage them. We went through a process to fully comply with the CPS-234 regulations. This was a significant effort and resulted in a real uplift of our internal processes and operations.

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Absolutely @dataxinja it’s hard to go past the value of real time data.

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Oh it’s so cool.

We use event sourcing heavily at Xinja. That this means is that:

  1. Everything that happens in our stack is represented as an individual event.
  2. We keep every event (thanks kafka!). Yes - since day 1.

So we are able to do a number of things with this:

  1. Trigger downstream actions based on real time events. An example might be an alert to a customer based on the history of spending when they make a purchase (too many coffees anyone?)
  2. Combine events from multiple sources into new events downstream.
  3. Aggregate data to support the above (or any other requirement) in any way we want - in ways that are specific to that requirement. This is made easier by using cloud storage like dynamoDB. If requirements change, we change the data structures and replay events.
  4. Real time analytics are made possible.

In short event driven architectures and, more specifically, event sourcing bring enormous benefits in flexibility and scalability.

This is fantastic, so much goodness here, you’re a :star: @sharpiexinja :exploding_head:

It’s hard to overstate this. We have implemented solutions in months where legacy banks would take years. Yes, that’s a result of our size and scale, we can make decisions quickly. But it’s also a direct result of the fact that our technical landscape is modern, decoupled and simple.

Hi @BobTheXinja, another good question.

You’re right - we are integrated with a number of partner organisations. When we select our partners we take them through a detailed evaluation process to make sure that they are able to work with us technically the way we want.

That’s not always possible. In this event we have implemented adapters to third party systems to shield our platform from those partner specific things. This might involve converting a file to events or transforming from a complicated web service to an easy to consume API.

We have found that our microservice and event driven architecture, with AWS scalability, makes it is much easier for us to build out these adapter services rather than the partner doing it. This has worked very well for us and has seen us out of some difficult situations.

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