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As the first Internet-based private bank in China, WeBank was not encumbered with legacy IT infrastructure when it was established in 2014. Unlike conventional banks that adopt an architecture of IBM, Oracle, and EMC (IOE) services, the core system of WeBank is built from scratch in a new distributed architecture.

With the help of TDSQL, Tencent Cloud’s finance-grade distributed database service, WeBank built its distributed infrastructure in a highly scalable IOE-free architecture based on data center nodes (DCNs) and quickly opened as the world's first all-cloud bank. WeBank provides innovative internet-based services by using cutting-edge technologies, such as face recognition on the finance cloud, with the account management costs reduced by 80%.

Challenges & Goals

WeBank launched its business quickly after a short preparation. This requires an effective and highly reliable IT architecture. To that end, conventional banks tend to invest more in hardware, hoping to maintain the high reliability of the underlying system against any failure by using high-end devices. This conventional method of using a high-cost architecture in exchange for high reliability, however, does not work for WeBank, which has introduced a new business model and workflows as the first internet bank in China. In addition, a well-developed user identification system is required to protect bank accounts in the internet-based remote service mode.

Tencent Cloud Solution

Since its establishment, WeBank has hosted its core transaction system in TDSQL, a distributed database service developed by Tencent Cloud for enterprises. As the first homegrown distributed database service used for bank transactions, TDSQL has not only helped WeBank build a scalable distributed core system architecture that achieves high performance and availability at low costs, but also promoted the digitization of inclusive financial services.

Tencent Cloud also provides WeBank with other services, such as Face Recognition, Direct Connect, VPN Connection, Anti-DDoS Pro, and Anti-DDoS Advanced.


1.Ultimate cost control

Unlike conventional banks that must put huge investment in building their data centers, WeBank is fully deployed in the financial-compliant cloud-based data center provided by Tencent Cloud, which provides services in pay-as-you-go mode. Tencent Cloud's finance-grade database service TDSQL is used for data storage, which costs 50% less than conventional ones. TDSQL has successfully supported the transaction and payment systems of Tencent since its release. It handles a billion transactions a day and has served hundreds of millions of users with zero failure for years. TDSQL automatically supports strong sync, cross-region disaster recovery, and multiple backups, and guarantees finance-grade security at lower maintenance costs.

According to incomplete statistics, the IT cost per account is 100 CNY for small banks and 20-30 CNY for large banks. Thanks to the distributed architecture of Tencent Cloud, WeBank has cut that cost by 80% and provides effective services at about 5 CNY per account, gaining a sharp edge in boosting the strength of its IT system. The two parties are working to further reduce the IT cost per account to 1 CNY.

2.Innovative face recognition system

All conventional financial services require offline identity verification of users' biometrics. This is the major factor that holds back the efficiency of conventional financial business and a key bottleneck that makes it hard for financial enterprises to migrate their business online. Remote biometric identification has become a trend of the Internet finance industry.

WeBank has closely cooperated with Tencent in remote face recognition since day one. For example, remote identity verification is required when users bind their second bank cards. Thanks to the innovative lip-speaking liveness detection technology and the world-leading face recognition technology of Tencent YouTu, the recognition accuracy in remote identity verification is higher than 95% with an error rate of less than 0.1%.

3.New products based on big data and social platforms

WeBank is planning to launch a series of new products featuring leisure and recreation. Undoubtedly, providing users with accurate and prompt services based on massive data is one of the strongest competencies of these products.

WeBank can tap the massive social data of Tencent and leverage hundreds of millions of QQ and WeChat users in the development of the bank credit system and customizable products to give full play to the advantages of the Internet "connecting everything". This way, the great consumption potential of active users can be activated to bring higher revenue and conversion rate. In the meantime, users can enjoy better service experience.

4.Guaranteed connection quality in a complex network environment

Banks are transaction hubs that interact with other financial institutions, regulators, and third-party payment companies. Tencent Cloud Direct Connect provides service nodes in five major cities across China. Banks connect to the nearest node for cross-region communication at higher speed but lower costs. Banks can also build their exclusive VPN hybrid cloud architectures by using VPN Connection and Direct Connect to connect their private networks with public cloud resources and achieve flexible management of diverse and stable network connections.

WeBank only provides online services. The network conditions of users have a great impact on the speed and stability of data transmission. To address this issue, WeBank has introduced Tencent Cloud CDN, which provides more than 500 backbone nodes and delivers content from the origin to the edge nodes closest to users, so that users obtain the content faster. This solution reduces high access latency due to data distribution, bandwidth, and server capacity, and supports access acceleration once the service is connected. This frees WeBank from paying attention to complex and changeable network conditions.

5.Cross-region traffic scheduling with minimal network latency

Tencent Cloud is capable of traffic scheduling across regions. In the event of a traffic surge, this feature schedules traffic in the entire network within seconds to balance the workload and reduce the risk of service crash in the primary region. The cross-region traffic scheduling feature has helped WeBank cut the average service latency over the public network from 100 ms to 20 ms. It also protects WeBank from backbone network failures and ensures its operation stability with minimal impact on user business.

6.Multiple security protections against data leakage and hacker attacks

In addition to Direct Connect and VPN Connection, Tencent Cloud also provides multiple security protections for WeBank to build exclusive security channels against cyberattacks, which can be terminated in seconds. It is worth pointing out that Tencent Cloud provides Anti-DDoS Pro and Anti-DDoS Advanced for finance zones. This feature scrubs out attack traffic at 20 Gbps, so that WeBank users can enjoy high-speed, stable, and secure services. User security is further enhanced by Tencent Cloud VPC.

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