Q2

Digital banking platform Q2 looks towards extensive growth with support from Cloudflare Magic Transit

Q2 began with the radical idea to simplify and integrate the banking experience across mobile, online, and voice channels. From its founding in 2005, the company has grown into a financial industry powerhouse, fueling the digital banking experiences of one out of 10 consumers in the US. Thirty-five percent of the country’s top 100 banks rely on Q2’s digital banking and lending services.

Keep pace with digital banking expectations

With $500 million in revenue in 2021, Q2 is planning for explosive growth as consumers expect the convenience of banking and borrowing from anywhere and at any time.

“Availability is the expectation that we proudly wear for our clients,” says Jordan Hager, vice president of hosting architecture at Q2. “With the pandemic’s stimulus payments and Paycheck Protection Program loan activity, the role we play in our customers’ ability to access money in a time of need really came to light."

Q2 shifted to a distributed cloud environment to improve agility, and the company needed to ensure adequate security and availability for their Internet-facing applications.

“Operating across multiple cloud providers unlocks innovation, and our customers assume that we’re doing this securely and with the same high availability that we’ve delivered through our private data centers,” says Hager.

Q2 not only needed to protect and scale, but also assure the highest levels of availability as the company supported more financial clients and their customers.

“Uptime is critical not just for us and our customers, but ultimately the end users who entrust in our financial platforms,” says Joshua Pena, principal security architect at Q2. “There are over 19 million global users of our online banking product who rely on our technology to navigate their financial lives.”

Solution: Secure and scale critical banking experiences

Cloudflare Magic Transit serves as the front door of Q2’s network, protecting its cloud-hosted and on-premise data centers against even the largest and most sophisticated DDoS attacks. Magic Transit also accelerates Q2’s application traffic, with Cloudflare’s built-in Load Balancing, Next-Generation Firewall Services, and Content Caching to improve the customer experience.

“On average, roughly 35% of all inbound traffic to Q2’s private cloud is malicious,” says Pena. “By leveraging Cloudflare, we eliminate that before it ever reaches our infrastructure.” Cloudflare inspects all of Q2’s traffic for attacks. When malicious traffic is detected, it is automatically blocked in less than three seconds. Magic Transit provides more than 100 Tbps of network capacity and near-instant mitigation. Cloudflare’s global network stops threats close to where they originate, so only clean traffic is routed to Q2’s data centers and cloud providers, eliminating wasted bandwidth.

“Security has always been perceived as a natural inhibitor to innovation, but with the help of Cloudflare, we are flipping that narrative at Q2. Cloudflare is enabling our teams to deliver innovation to customers more rapidly, while elevating our security posture to new heights,” says Pena. “Security at the edge is no longer seen as a friction point for us; it’s a differentiator.”

Provision network services on the fly

Cloudflare Magic Transit makes it easier for Q2 to build, deploy, and scale innovative banking and lending applications.

“One of the things that separates Magic Transit from legacy solutions is infrastructure-as-code,” says Hager. “We have democratized access to the network so anyone who has access to our code repositories can propose changes and push code into production by following the appropriate policies,” says Hager.

With programmable APIs for configuration, control and analytics, Magic Transit is easy to integrate into customers' infrastructure-as-code frameworks. A programmable approach allows Q2’s developers to automate the deployment of network and security functions like load balancing and edge firewalls without having to wait for the network engineering team to make manual changes to the network.

Not only does an infrastructure-as-code model for network and security services empower the development team, but also helps eliminate vendor lock-in. Q2 can choose the best-fit technology partners for innovation.

When discussing this benefit, Luis Placeres, Senior IT Systems Architect at Q2 adds, “Cloudflare is critical to our distributed-cloud strategy at Q2. Leveraging BYOIP on top of Cloudflare’s advanced load balancing features, we’re no longer locked into a single downstream compute environment for our products. We’ve embraced the flexibility of distributing workloads where they deliver the most value, whether that be in our own private data centers or with public cloud providers.”

Stronger communities through digital banking

“Q2 is focused on building strong and diverse communities, and we do that by building strong financial institutions,” says Hager. “We look at technology as the great equalizer for financial diversity and freedom.”

With Q2’s banking and lending as a service, more regional and community banks, alternative finance, and fintech companies can offer personalized and intuitive experiences to their customers.

“Cloudflare allows us to quickly scale and deliver solutions across multiple platforms,” says Hager. “We look at Cloudflare as a 10x solution for us, and that’s the scale we need as we strive to double our footprint in the next three years.”

Cloudflare has been a strong partner in Q2’s mission to transform the financial experience for millions of people. “The Cloudflare team has been tremendous through this entire engagement,” says Pena. “They’re quick to respond, super helpful, and have expert-level answers to our very technical questions.”

With Cloudflare protecting and scaling Q2’s banking and lending services, the company can continue to expand its market opportunity, delivering on plans to reach $1.6 billion in revenue by 2026.

“Cloudflare is transformational,” says Pena. “Cloudflare allows us to transform how quickly we can deliver innovation to customers.”

Key Results
  • 4 billion banking logins protected in 2021 over a secure network built for scale

  • Inbound malicious traffic has been vastly eliminated, saving bandwidth

  • Improved customer experience and simplified operations

  • Flexibility to choose cloud providers and avoid vendor lock-in

Security has always been perceived as a natural inhibitor to innovation, but with the help of Cloudflare, we are flipping that narrative at Q2. Cloudflare is enabling our teams to deliver innovation to customers more rapidly, while elevating our security posture to new heights. Security at the edge is no longer seen as a friction point for us; it’s a differentiator.

Joshua Pena
Principal Security Architect

We look at Cloudflare as a 10x solution for us, giving us the scale we need as we strive to double our footprint in the next three years.

Jordan Hager
Vice President of Hosting Architecture