Tassat streamlines $24 trillion B2B bank payments market with blockchain-based solution on Google Cloud

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Tassat streamlines $24 trillion B2B bank payments market with blockchain-based solution on Google Cloud

Tassat Group develops innovative private blockchain-based B2B payment solution for banks, eliminates inefficient legacy payment processes, cuts costs, and increases the speed of payment transfers

Tassat Group is a New York-based technology company and provider of real-time payment and banking solutions. Since its founding in 2017, Tassat has focused on the challenges facing the $24 trillion B2B payments market – a market nearly five times the size of the B2C market.

In today’s digital economy, commercial bank clients have limited options for transmitting funds to one another, even when they have accounts with the same bank. Many of the options currently available to them are saddled with inefficiencies that include overnight settlements, processing delays, cut-off times, transaction size limits and high fees.

These constraints have led to growing demand among businesses for secure, real-time payment processes. For example, a Citizens Financial Group survey found that nine in 10 business leaders are interested in real-time payments, and 81 percent expect such payments to change how business is done.

However, most banks lack the resources or capacity to develop the sophisticated technology infrastructure necessary to improve on legacy payment issues.

To address this need, Tassat focused on creating a private, permissioned blockchain-based payments platform for the banking industry and its B2B customers. The goal was to eliminate the pain points associated with legacy bank payment channels, or rails, and enable banks to provide their B2B customers with secure, real-time payments 24/7/365 using private blockchain technology.

Tassat understood that using the cloud for the new solution would be a better alternative to a costly and labor-intensive on-premises approach. It launched an evaluation of cloud platforms to find the one best suited to host what would become TassatPay.

The platform basically started running right out of the box. It was an important moment that helped us get to launch in six months instead of our initial estimate of nine months.

Eric Couillard, Director of Engineering, Tassat Group

From idea to launch: 33 percent faster using Google Cloud

During its evaluation process for a cloud infrastructure for TassatPay, Tassat weighed multiple factors. These included embedded security to meet customer needs and regulatory mandates related to privacy and security, the availability of rich development tools, and a partner ecosystem that could provide expertise as needed so the company could move swiftly and stay within budget were also priorities.

After reviewing options from multiple cloud providers, Tassat chose to go all in on Google Cloud. At the recommendation of Google, it also connected with SADA for technical assistance in making the most of Google’s offerings.

“We felt we could get to market fastest with Google Cloud,” says Eric Couillard, Director of Engineering at Tassat Group. “It was well-aligned with our engineering principles of keeping things simple and intuitive. And with SADA, we found a skilled partner that could help us build out an infrastructure that would allow us to scale quickly, iterate effectively, and meet regulatory and customer demands for security and constant availability.”

The TassatPay platform runs on a microservice-based architecture built around a proprietary message bus and a private, permissioned blockchain. The platform, which can scale easily across regions, runs on Google Cloud Compute Engine instances and uses Google Cloud Filestore for storing and managing data.

As Tassat weighed the need for speed and scalability, Compute Engine became the solution of choice. With Compute Engine, Tassat can evaluate cost and performance options to achieve optimization around specific scenarios, such as general purpose computing, memory-optimized workloads and accelerator-optimized applications.

“We plan to spin up additional instances for each bank we onboard,” says Couillard. “Each customer is siloed, but we enable payments across member banks with The Digital Interbank Network, our private, permissioned blockchain-based payments network. We take advantage of Google’s global network, leveraging its service reliability across multiple regions in a single VPC, and use Google Cloud Load Balancing to optimize web access for our customers.”

Tassat takes advantage of committed-use discounts, which helps it save on costs to run the platform while eliminating up-front expenses or instance-type lock-ins.

The inherent scalability of Google Cloud and powerful APIs support infrastructure-as-code provisioning systems help the company move quickly. “This combination supports our strategy of onboarding many new banking clients as we push into new markets,” Couillard says.

The Tassat team benefited from discussions with Google Cloud experts, who provided suggestions that helped cut the initial estimate of time to production by 33 percent. The teams used the Google Cloud Architecture Framework to help guide design work.

“The platform basically started running right out of the box,” says Couillard. “It was an important moment that helped us get to launch in six months instead of our initial estimate of nine months.”

Achieving regulatory and environmental goals

Building on Google Cloud helped Tassat achieve two critical goals: Meeting core regulatory requirements of the financial services industry related to security, privacy and other needs; and using Google Cloud technology to reduce energy consumption associated with sending and receiving transactions on TassatPay.

Tassat Chief Information Security Officer Al Berg says Google Cloud was already compliant with data center and infrastructure components that meet financial industry standards.

“Things like web application firewall capabilities, ISO 27001, FedRAMP and SOC certifications allow us to give our customers and potential customers the answers that they need to hear in order to feel comfortable,” he says, adding that Tassat uses Google Cloud Secret Manager for credential management. “Google Cloud provides those elements up front, so from the start we had essential components to complement the security that a blockchain network inherently provides through its decentralized and encrypted distributed ledger technology.”

When designing the TassatPay platform, Tassat thought about not only protecting its systems, but also protecting the environment. By implementing Ethereum’s “proof of authority” model for its private, permissioned blockchain, Tassat maintains compatibility with proven and secure ERC-20 token technology while avoiding compute and carbon-intensive mining operations. This helps commercial banking customers adopt blockchain technology while fulfilling their corporate ESG targets. Tassat was also an early adopter of Google Cloud Carbon Footprint, which lets its banking customers visualize the energy impact of TassatPay and track their adoption of greener business practices.

This technology will be the onramp to a fully digital banking system, including not just payments but also smart contracts, T+0 settlement and other features. It is the future of banking – and it is here now.

Kevin Greene, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tassat Group

Rapid customer growth

Building TassatPay on Google Cloud provides Tassat with a flexible platform that integrates quickly and cost effectively with existing banking platforms such as FIS, Fiserv and Jack Henry. It helped to accelerate Tassat’s early success in attracting customers such as Signature Bank, Western Alliance Bank, Customers Bank, and Cogent Bank. The rapid customer adoption has led to more than $400 billion in processed transactions since the platform launched in early 2019.

In December 2021, Tassat announced The Digital Interbank Network, a private, permission blockchain-based payments network, enabling instantaneous, secure real-time payments across banks. Tassat is providing the intellectual property and protocols for ‘The Network,’ which will be owned and governed by its member banks.

The proven success of TassatPay and the launch of The Digital Interbank Network has generated widespread interest among banks and their commercial customers in the benefits of a blockchain-based B2B solution for an increasingly digital economy. These innovations resulted in Tassat winning the Google Cloud Financial Services Customer Award in 2021.

Tassat Director of Infrastructure and Technology Operations Joe Grastara credits Google Cloud and SADA with helping the company expand rapidly. “We have lots of automation for delivering our tenant environments. In the next year we’re going to work with SADA and Google as trusted advisors who can help take our automation to the next level. That will support our goal of quickly deploying new instances of our blockchain payment services within Google Cloud.”

Tassat’s Chairman and CEO Kevin Greene concludes, “By providing secure, real-time payments, TassatPay enables blockchain-based banking services, empowering banks to help their commercial clients compete and win in the fast-growing digital economy. This technology will be the onramp to a fully digital banking system, including not just payments but also smart contracts, T+0 settlement and other features. It is the future of banking–and it is here now.”

Results

  • Cut time to solution deployment by 33%
  • Active-active configuration results in 99.99% uptime
  • On-demand scalability allows for just-in-time growth across regions
  • Flexible use of compute instances delivers cost/benefit optimization
  • Google Cloud compliance with FinServ industry standards give customers confidence

We have lots of automation for delivering our tenant environments. In the next year we’re going to work with SADA and Google as trusted advisors who can help take our automation to the next level.

— Joe Grastara, Director of Infrastructure and Technology Operations, Tassat Group

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