For fintech companies, data security is paramount. In such a highly regulated industry, a financial service provider must prove it can keep sensitive customer data safe in order to run its business and build trust with customers. Data aggregator and fintech platform Moneytree relies on Heroku to provide application infrastructure that handles data securely and in compliance with international standards. This allows the growing company to focus on building the best possible service for its customers in Japan and Australia.
Founded in Tokyo in 2012, Moneytree specializes in enabling financial data aggregation and management for individuals and businesses. Their personal finance app works with a range of financial institutions, including over 20 banks, along with trusted third-parties, such as real estate management companies and tax preparation firms. Moneytree allows users to explicitly decide how and when to share their financial data with those service providers, making arduous tasks, like doing taxes, that much easier.
Moneytree is one of only three financial data aggregation services in Japan. While the others are focused mainly on accounting, Moneytree’s goal is to make the financial system as a whole work better for individuals, businesses, and financial service providers. By making data more transparent and accessible between these groups, the company hopes to give end users a more comprehensive view and understanding of their financial life, and at the same time help providers to improve their products and services.
Trusting Heroku from the beginning
Like most startups, Moneytree began with a small engineering team. By launching its service on Heroku from the get-go, the company was able to focus on big-picture goals sooner rather than later. Heroku’s managed platform and data services enabled the team to avoid hiring dedicated DevOps staff or database administrators to set up and manage their app infrastructure. Rather than spending valuable time and energy on tasks like server operations or database security, Moneytree was able to leave it all to Heroku. The company could then fully dedicate its limited resources to building out its data aggregation platform and developing a great customer experience.
“Heroku enables us to spend the majority of our efforts on building our platform, and as little as possible on security and infrastructure—whilst still getting those right.” Ross Sharrott, CTO, Moneytree
Moneytree’s service supports a wide range of financial use cases that rely on real-time data synchronization. The team uses Heroku Postgres and Heroku Redis as data stores, both in conjunction with AWS Aurora. Specifically, they’re using a read-only replica—the followers feature in Postgres—to run analytics on their data, and they fork their Postgres database to make sure no data is lost when testing something new.
“Because Heroku handles data security at the infrastructure level, we are free to focus on ensuring data security within our application.” Ross Sharrott, CTO, Moneytree
To further enhance data security, the Moneytree platform runs in Heroku Private Spaces, a dedicated runtime environment. Private Spaces enables Moneytree to run their user-facing application and internal services within their own isolated network, offering greater power, performance, and privacy. Since customers are located in Japan and Australia, Moneytree makes use of Heroku’s Tokyo and Sydney regional Private Spaces, which helps reduce network latency and provide a better user experience. This also ensures there are no data residency issues per local regulatory requirements.
Leading the way to open banking
Moneytree is part of a growing global movement called open banking, which aims to provide individuals with greater transparency and control over their financial data. For open banking to be possible, financial service providers must ensure that the APIs and third-party platforms that power their service share user data safely and in compliance with industry regulations. Trust in Heroku has enabled Moneytree to focus on building an innovative service that puts them at the vanguard of the movement in their region.