WAAFI launches its digital-only operations on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)
WAAFI turns to OCI to launch its Shariah-compliant digital-only bank and achieves scalability and security.
“OCI complies with stringent standards set by the industry and different governments. Various jurisdictions across the globe and other industry bodies all speak highly of OCI’s compliant approach.”
With a goal to promote economic empowerment and prosperity in Djibouti, WAAFI set up operations as a digital-only bank to serve the global Muslim diaspora.
The bank sought a secure IT infrastructure that adhered to global best practices. Because digital-only financial organizations can be vulnerable to threats and fraud, WAAFI needed to ensure business continuity for disaster recovery.
The digital bank also required a robust infrastructure that provided the flexibility to match resources to unpredictable demands. Initially, WAAFI opted for an on-premises solution with a suite of Oracle Financial Services, including FLEXCUBE for Islamic Banking, Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications, Oracle Banking Digital Experience, and Oracle Database. However, due to delays and restrictions caused by COVID-19 in 2021, the bank considered an alternative cloud deployment.
In addition to infrastructure considerations, WAAFI also needed a comprehensive solution for database security and compliance because the bank stores and processes sensitive financial data and personally identifiable information.
OCI helps us with defense in depth through the isolation of network and compute firewall, DDoS, and encryption.
Why WAAFI Bank chose Oracle
Bank leaders decided that the cloud was the best option because it would allow WAAFI to scale according to business growth. Additionally, the cloud would help with disaster recovery and business continuity while speeding up the delivery of products to its customers.
The bank outsourced the task of choosing a cloud provider to a partner and an IT banking consultancy firm. They evaluated several vendors in the market, and after a three-week proof of concept, WAAFI selected Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Bank leaders found that OCI would be more scalable, with better performance and better built-in security features than competitors.
Also, OCI would offer a formidable security posture by isolating the network and compute firewall, DDoS, and encryption. Also, it complied with the relevant standards such as GDPR, PCIDSS, and ISO. OCI’s compliance program would help ensure that the bank kept up with dynamic regulatory requirements. In addition, the bank’s Oracle applications and database stack were already optimized for Oracle workloads. Oracle would bring high performance for the bank’s cloud workloads and was committed to providing disaster recovery and ensuring business continuity.
WAAFI also looked to Oracle Data Safe, native to OCI, for its extensive database security and compliance features such as database activity auditing and data masking. The bank’s leaders appreciated that all the capabilities came in a single, unified console.
With core banking operations on OCI, WAAFI could deploy faster and provide better customer service.
By moving its suite of core banking services to OCI, WAAFI improved time to market, availability, efficiency, and security. As an easy-to-operate platform that has zero downtime during an EOD batch run, OCI delivered great performance for Oracle workloads with seamless integration across WAAFI’s technology stack.
The OCI services of Oracle WebLogic Server, Enterprise Database Service, Content Management, as well as Observability and Management gave the bank more tools to customize based on its needs. OCI’s agility also allowed the bank to optimize performance. With core banking operations on OCI, WAAFI could serve customers better by allocating resources to meet demand—thanks to OCI’s ability to scale.
With Oracle Data Safe, the bank was able to more efficiently manage the day-to-day security and compliance requirements for its Oracle databases.
JMR InfoTech Middle East FZC, a technology implementation partner focused on digital transformation for financial services, deployed and configured WAAFI’s Digital Banking Platform on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). JMR worked closely with Cloud Nation Sdn Bhd and Oracle Cloud Lift Services, which provisioned and configured OCI in less than two months. Oracle Cloud Lift Services also handled the knowledge transfer to WAAFI’s technology team.
The financial services deployment, configuration, and testing took about 3 months. WAAFI went live in July 2022 and has been operating smoothly ever since.
About the customer
WAAFI is a conventional bank with Islamic Window, offering fully Shariah-compliant products and services. It is licensed by the Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA), Malaysia, and wholly owned by the Salaam African Bank, Djibouti.
WAAFI will deliver all its services digitally as its target customers will be spread across the globe. As such, the bank is conscious to select its customer groups and lines of businesses that can be served digitally, end to end.