Easy Pay Reduces Transaction Time by 58% Using AWS
In India, most households pay their bills at local neighborhood retailers. In this largely cash-based society, settling regular expenses such as utilities and public transportation has been a tedious and time-consuming task, with customers having to queue at each vendor’s manned service stations. Easy Pay provides local neighborhood shops with a point-of-sale (POS) system they can use to facilitate customers’ payments to a variety of suppliers, with over 60 service providers in its partner network. Using the POS machines, customers can quickly and easily pay bills with cash or other modes of payment, eliminating the need for middlemen or visits to various pay stations.
We believe AWS supports our exponential business growth and allows us to help everyday retailers provide a better service to their customer."
Co-founder & COO, Easy Pay
Easy Pay empowers neighborhood shops to brand themselves as a service center for all kinds of retail and payment services. The company’s goal is to organize the unorganized “mom and pop stores” in India with its innovative technology. The Easy Pay platform is also employed by shopkeepers to manage inventory and sales.
In March 2016, the founders started with 10 POS systems in the city of Ahmedabad, serving 5,000 unique customers. Today, the company has a presence in six cities, with a footprint of 650-plus retail points servicing 6 million unique customers. It is also involved in government-led smart city projects, in cooperation with major Indian banks.
Technology Enhances Customer Service
Easy Pay launched in 2016 with its own data centers, which supported up to 6,000 transactions per day per POS machine. However, there were grumblings among its customers that processing times were too long. “Our focus has always been on differentiated experiences enabled through technology,” Rahil Patel, co-founder & COO at Easy Pay, explains. “It is not only about the product or solution that we have developed, but the speed at which we serve our customers consistently, be it our retail partners or households.”
After launching, the company’s servers were plagued with unforeseen downtime, often 15 to 20 minutes at a time, which severely affected performance during peak demand periods. “Each time a server goes down, it results in business loss for us, and we cannot afford that,” Sachin Singh, VP of sales at Easy Pay, says.
Why Amazon Web Services
From Manual to Automatic
In December 2016, Easy Pay began a four-month proof of concept with Amazon Web Services (AWS), migrating target workloads onto the cloud. The company uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for backend processing of retail payment services. Its management was apprehensive about the change, given the existing issues with downtime and processing speed. Thus, trials were set up to see whether the Amazon EC2 servers could handle transaction volumes up to 10 times of what Easy Pay had tracked to date. It required that the new system had to be robust and highly scalable, and the AWS platform proved a perfect fit. Easy Pay also takes advantage of Elastic Load Balancing to help redirect incoming traffic across Amazon EC2 instances during spiky periods and to ensure consistent application delivery.
Patel says, “Moving to an elastic infrastructure that can automatically enhance system performance based of demand was fabulous. We can now increase company growth without any hesitation.”
He adds, “Using AWS has resulted in optimized resource utilization as it only requires a single person to run the complete infrastructure, which is a direct result of many technology processes being simplified through various AWS offerings.”
Time Is Money
Before migrating to the cloud, Easy Pay was often faced with events that took its servers completely offline. Since the migration, it has experienced close to 100 percent availability. In addition, transaction times have been reduced from 12 to 5 seconds, and the number of transactions processed daily at each POS outlet has doubled, rising from 6,000 to 12,000.
Dhaval Soni, IT infrastructure administrator and architect at Easy Pay, adds, “With our previous systems, it was taking 24 hours to deploy a single server. Now, it takes just 2 minutes to launch an Amazon EC2 instance.” The company relies on Amazon Machine Images (AMI) to easily launch new instances.
“The capabilities and innovative products from AWS, the elasticity to scale up and be assured of minimal downtime, and the manageability of the console were all key for us,” Soni adds.
The startup uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), an open source database server, to securely manage financial data. Previously it had four different firewalls in place, but it is now able to use a single auto-scaling firewall in conjunction with internal security groups to isolate customer environments.
Adopting higher quality standards and security protocols has enabled Easy Pay to pursue new business opportunities with leading private-sector banks in India, as well as participate in smart city projects led by various government bodies.
Trust in the Future
Easy Pay has leveraged AWS Support with the Business Support Plan, consulting with AWS before deploying any new features to avoid installation issues before going live. “The community and entire support network behind the AWS platform has been great for us. Whatever you want to know about the system, you can get an answer from the AWS community, from people who are using it,” Soni explains.
More projects are in the pipeline to help retail customers streamline and strengthen their business, including potential big data applications. Easy Pay is looking to work with AWS as it takes this next step.
The company has received positive feedback from retailers on its updated system, and has experienced a 200 percent increase in topline growth since migrating to AWS. Patel concludes, “In our business, everything is based on customer convenience, consistency, and trust. We believe AWS supports our exponential business growth and allows us to help retailers provide a better service to their customers.”
In India, most households pay their bills at local neighborhood retailers. In this largely cash-based society, settling regular expenses such as utilities and public transportation has been a tedious and time-consuming task, with customers having to queue at each vendor’s manned service stations.
Benefits of AWS
- The business is running its retail financial services portal and targeted workloads on AWS
- Reduces transaction time from 12 to 5 seconds
- Enables new server launches in 2 minutes, down from 24 hours with on-premises system
- Scales to accommodate tenfold spikes in processing traffic
- Simplifies cash payments, enabling machines to handle twice as many transactions each day
- Ensures little to no downtime
AWS Services Used
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Elastic Load Balancing
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