4bill Scales Up Payment Processing and Triples Customer Base Using AWS


Payment service provider 4bill had trouble dealing with spikes in traffic as demand for its services grew. As a result its retail customers frequently encountered delays in processing payments due to poor latency. Using AWS, 4bill built a cloud solution that quickly adapts to variable demand and ensures customers can reliably receive payments. It has tripled its total customer base, and 98 percent of all online payment transactions complete successfully on the first attempt. Prior to using AWS, this conversion rate was 87 percent.


Using AWS helps us get closer to our clients and solve their technical problems."

Katia Gorobets,
Head of Marketing, 4bill

4bill facilitates money transfers and electronics payments for businesses of all sizes. Its solutions are used by websites, mobile applications, and online services to conveniently and securely receive payments from consumers.

Based in Ukraine, 4bill experienced rapid expansion after partnering with seven major local banks and credit card company Visa. However, working with a colocation provider, the company struggled to scale its systems to handle increasing volumes of traffic as customer demand grew. This made processing payments slow and unreliable for customers and threatened to hamper the company’s success.

4bill decided to migrate its mission-critical payment gateway and database message broker service to Amazon Web Services (AWS). It now provides customers with a reliable way to process payments, even when demand is high. Using AWS, 4bill has tripled the size of its customer base and increased payment success rates from 87 to 98 percent. It’s also developed innovative services that support customers and boost its competitive advantage.

Lack of Scalability Led to Poor Customer Experience

With its previous colocation environment, 4bill could not scale to meet rising customer demand. “Scaling up our hardware was painful and time consuming,” says Denys Badzo, technical team lead at 4bill. “If we ordered hardware because we needed more database capacity, it would take a couple of months to receive it. And the COVID-19 pandemic made things even worse.”

The inability to quickly scale meant 4bill experienced latency issues when processing high volumes of customers transactions—and retail customers frequently encountered delays in accepting payments from consumers buying goods and services online.

4bill needed a faster way to spin up resources to deliver its services. It also wanted to support the development of new business services that would help its customers to increase conversions. “We discussed with AWS how we could scale our services as and when we need them, without limitations,” says Badzo. “Getting this right would improve our service stability, which directly affects customer satisfaction in the competitive payments market.”

Scaling to 98% Conversion Rate Success Using AWS

4bill built a new payment system to support its rapidly growing customer base using scalable, stable, and secure managed services. These include Amazon Aurora, a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud.

The company also uses Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes.

Using AWS, 4bill can meet fluctuating demand quickly and reliably—98 percent of all online payment transactions complete successfully on the first attempt. “We no longer worry about the volume of our customer transactions,” says Badzo. “We can’t predict traffic spikes, and we don’t need to. If a big retailer hasn’t told us about a marketing promotion to drive sales, it’s not a problem. When the traffic load grows, the Amazon EKS cluster scales with us, which gives us stable performance.”

The company minimized its migration time using AWS Database Migration Service. After migrating to Amazon Aurora, 4bill experienced minimal lag between systems and faster data analysis.

It also uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) to gain cost-efficient and resizable capacity, while automating time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups.

Security Made Simple on AWS

Because 4bill handles sensitive financial information, its services must be secure. Previously, 4bill used its own encryption keys, but for the new system it migrated to AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS). This means it can create and manage cryptographic keys and control their use across a wide range of AWS services as well as in its own applications.

This has improved security and simplified compliance. “AWS is a certified PCI DSS Level 1 Service Provider, helping us streamline compliance processes,” says Badzo.

The company uses AWS Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF), which helps protect web applications or APIs against common web exploits and bots that can affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources. By using it for request filtering and to set some traffic request limitations, 4bill has greater protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

4bill Finds Time to Innovate Following AWS Migration

4bill developers now have time to think creatively about improving and adding to their payment services. “AWS has broken all limits for our technology, which means we can focus on developing new features,” says Badzo. “We don’t have to make decisions based on limited capacity, like before. Since migrating to AWS, we can deliver software as a service, and we have 10 new services and three payment methods in the works.”

Using AWS, 4bill has also streamlined the IT team’s workflow. The team rolls out updates to a production environment with a click of a button.

Scalability Delivers Better Customer Experience and a Competitive Advantage

The company has gained a competitive advantage from its improved scalability. “We’ve had customers switch to our service because a competitor couldn’t always keep up with growing payment processing demands,” says Badzo. “Using AWS, we’ve minimized downtimes, which give both ourselves and customers confidence.”

The relationship between 4bill and its customers has also changed. “Using AWS helps us get closer to our clients and solve their technical problems,” says Katia Gorobets, head of marketing at 4bill. “Our customers are enjoying improved transfer speeds and faster transactions.”

4bill has three times as many customers as it had before it started using AWS. In addition to its base in Ukraine, it now has customers in UK and Lithuania. The company aims to continue its growth trajectory. “With our strong technical team, and now that we are using AWS, anything is possible” says Gorobets.

About 4bill

4bill is a business-to-business payment service provider based in Ukraine, with more than 460 customers, including seven major Ukrainian banks. Its solutions help organizations of all sizes accept money from their customers.

Benefits of AWS

  • Scaled resources to meet 3x increase in customer demand
  • Developed 10 new services for customers
  • Achieved 98 percent success rate for online payment transactions, up from 87 percent before using AWS
  • Improved reliability and speed of payment processing

AWS Services Used

Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora provides built-in security, continuous backups, serverless compute, up to 15 read replicas, automated multi-Region replication, and integrations with other AWS services.

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Amazon EKS

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises.Deploy applications with Amazon EKS in the cloud Deploy applications with Amazon EKS Anywhere Deploy applications with your own tools.

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Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.

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AWS WAF is a web application firewall that helps protect your web applications or APIs against common web exploits and bots that may affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources.

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