“We’re proud that we were the first in our group to go all-in on AWS. And we’ve helped our owner—a corporate bank—plan its own journey to the cloud based on the lessons we’ve learned.”
Checkout Finland has set a benchmark for cloud excellence within its banking group by reducing payment times, making compliance easier, and improving uptime during peak sales periods. The company is part of Finland’s largest bank—OP—and provides a range of merchant services for online retailers. It uses services including AWS Lambda and AWS Fargate to run its infrastructure as code so developers can concentrate on building features that matter to customers instead of managing servers.
During busy periods for retailers using Checkout’s services, such as Black Friday or Christmas, the number of payment requests can increase by 10 times or more. Scaling infrastructure up and down to meet sales fluctuations was costly and hard to manage with physical servers, which led to outages. Mika Turunen, chief technology officer at Checkout, says: “A few seconds offline is too much for large e-commerce companies. If that happens during a peak period, they’ll find a new payments provider with no hesitation.”
To avoid this, the company was looking for a more elastic way to host its services. Turunen and his team moved from their previous data center provider to Amazon Web Services (AWS). As well as providing greater scalability and elasticity, a move to the cloud allowed Checkout to run its infrastructure as code, adding flexibility and simplicity to software development.
Checkout moved all of its payments services into the AWS Cloud in just eight months, setting a benchmark for digital transformation within OP. “We’re proud that we were the first in our group to go all-in on AWS. And we’ve helped our owner—a corporate bank—plan its own journey to the cloud based on the lessons we’ve learned,” says Turunen.
The brand uses a combination of event-driven architecture running on AWS Lambda and containerized services running with Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS). AWS Fargate automatically manages the infrastructure for these containers, so developers at Checkout don’t have to. “The auto-scaling capabilities of our AWS serverless infrastructure means that we don’t worry about scaling when traffic goes up,” says Turunen. “It just works.”
Getting the new infrastructure approved by the Finnish regulatory authorities was faster and easier than Turunen had ever expected. Collecting details from the various subcontractors across its infrastructure used to take Checkout up to four weeks. Now, the same information can be gathered in a couple of days.
“We can prove to the regulator exactly which people have access to this infrastructure and demonstrate how all changes are logged in an audit trail,” says Turunen. “Our AWS team supported us by helping the regulator understand serverless environments.”
Checkout has also met its goal of handling busy periods more effectively. “For the first time we are writing availability clauses into customer contracts,” says Turunen. “Customers can verify uptime and we’re looking to add an extra nine next year.”