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Current Builds Customer-Centric Financial Products with MongoDB and Google Cloud

INDUSTRY

Financial Services

PRODUCTS

MongoDB Atlas
MongoDB Atlas Search
MongoDB Compass

USE CASE

Payments

CUSTOMER SINCE

2019
Trevor Marshall, CTO of Current, joined Jin Bae, Google Cloud ISV Partner Lead at Google, for a conversation at MongoDB.local NYC to discuss their tech stack on Google Cloud, with a focus on how Current uses MongoDB as an integral part of the platform.

Making financial services accessible and affordable for all

Current, a financial technology company that builds banking services for millions of Americans, was founded with the belief that banking should be accessible and affordable for all. Working with smaller banks across the United States, Current continually connects people to the transformative ways money works. Tailored to the needs of their four million customers, Current’s platform offers a different approach that embraces technology, works for everyone, and costs less. This belief drove the creation of Current in 2015, as well as the building of their own proprietary banking core technology and a tech stack with MongoDB’s modern, cloud-native architecture, which aligned with their ambitions and provided the flexibility to connect to any service needed.

The biggest challenge Current CEO Stuart Sopp and CTO Trevor Marshall saw in the market was how traditional banks are account-driven, not people-driven. Seemingly always in flux, the rotation of account managers creates a lack of consistency for customers, who often bear the burden of repeating their information to a new representative. This creates confusion and increases the complexity for customers to manage their most basic financial affairs.

Unfortunately, legacy infrastructure locks this in by reinforcing and even creating data and organization silos. And none of this places the focus where it should be: simplifying customers’ lives and obtaining the best overall outcomes for them.

Current’s challenge was to break through walls of legacy thinking and technology to build bridges between the conventional financial world and a fully digital future, creating customer experiences that simply cannot exist in traditional systems. Focusing on customers, not bank accounts, would differentiate Current and help it thrive.

Sopp and Marshall had worked closely together over many years across different projects and companies, so they knew they were up to the challenge. What they needed were equally capable partners to help implement their vision.

A fast, flexible solution right out of the box

To implement that vision, Current built its own ledgering system: Current Core, a retail banking platform providing true ledger state back to each of its banks. To do this, Current sought out a modern database that offered the most scalable, efficient way to optimize the success of this new application. Current selected MongoDB Atlas for its flexible document model, as well as its built-in, enterprise-grade security, audit, and compliance capabilities. Maintaining transactional data integrity across the system is vital for Current, who identified MongoDB’s multi-document distributed ACID transactions as a key contributor to choosing Atlas. MongoDB is the only database to combine the speed, flexibility, and power of the document model with ACID guarantees.

“One of the things we’re using MongoDB for is the document flexibility, as a card authorization looks very different from a Bitcoin purchase, which looks different from a paycheck. So the way we store that metadata is leveraging the document flexibility that we have.”

Trevor Marshall, Chief Technology Officer, Current

Current Core features an event-driven architecture that collects every transaction in an Atlas collection. The platform translates ACH (automated clearing house, or direct withdrawals), mobile check deposits, cash deposits, peer-to-peer payments, ATM, point of sale (POS) debit card purchases and more into events, and stores them in a ledger that lives inside MongoDB Atlas. Current is leveraging other MongoDB features like MongoDB Atlas Search, which provides added functionality right on top of the data stored in Current Core without all of the overhead. Atlas Search simplifies queries and enhances accuracy, while enabling other services such as user-to-user payments. Current also leverages MongoDB Compass to make Current Core more accessible to business users by better analyzing and managing their data.
“By working with MongoDB and Google Cloud we are creating excellent customer experiences. Our company mission of creating better financial outcomes for people is reflected all the way down to the way data is stored in MongoDB. It is uncommon, especially in financial services, for the data model to support the business so directly.”

Trevor Marshall, Chief Technology Officer, Current

Current chose MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud because it needed a VPC-peered connection with its Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) clusters. When scaling Atlas in Google Cloud, Current didn’t want to manage it themselves as they wanted to ensure that they were running the latest and greatest versions, and that they had a team they could work with for support and guidance. Current is also using other Google Cloud solutions with MongoDB including Dataflow, PubSub, Memorystore, OAM + IAP, and Google BigQuery.

“Atlas has enabled Current to reduce TCO by giving it the power to pushbutton-scale its platform as needed to meet changing demand with zero Ops intervention,” says Marshall. With MongoDB and Google Cloud in their technology stack, Current is positioned to deliver an ecosystem of banking services right to their customer’s fingertips.

If you are looking to revolutionize customer experiences and win in the digital economy by unifying operational, analytical, and AI data services to streamline building intelligent applications, learn more at MongoDB for Financial Services.

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