The agility and scalability of our AWS infrastructure have been critical aspects of our business.
Phaneender Aedla Chief Technology Officer, InCred
  • InCred needed a highly secure infrastructure to guarantee data security in every aspect of its operation
  • The company is running its databases on AWS
  • Scales to accommodate simultaneous product launches
  • Ensures seamless data transmission, retrieval, and storage with multiple connected databases
  • Minimized time to market due to ease of use and product integration
  • Protects data with built-in security protocols inherent to AWS products

InCred was launched in 2016 to meet the financial needs of people and businesses underserved by traditional financial institutions in India. The company offers four types of loans: personal, education, affordable housing, and business, for consumers and small to midsized enterprises. It seeks to provide seamless customer experience so that customers do not have to visit an office or endure a lengthy application process to access funding. In its first quarter of operations, InCred logged over $15 million in loans, a record high for non-banking lenders in India.

As a growing multiproduct company, InCred needed a highly efficient cloud provider to minimize processing and lead times for credit decisions and loan applications. Its technology team had three objectives with its cloud architecture design: scalability to launch multiple products swiftly; agility to start and stop operations without relational-database constraints; and affordability without the burden of upfront capital expenditures.

In addition, InCred wanted to build a platform that would provide real-time information across its entire data ecosystem. Analytics in enterprise applications are often challenging because of data silos found in traditional database models, explains Chief Technology Officer Phaneender Aedla. InCred wanted to break down these barriers so information would flow freely and speedily throughout its platform.

Security was also a primary concern, because the company needed to protect sensitive financial and social data about clients in a system that would be accessed by customers in uncontrolled environments. Aedla says that many people and government/corporate agencies in India remain leery of security in the cloud. To gain stakeholders’ trust, InCred needed to guarantee data security in every aspect of its operation.

The team did consider other cloud platforms, such as Google Cloud and a type of “private cloud with soft layer data centers,” says Aedla. Ultimately, the variety of Amazon Web Services (AWS) services offered, as well as the peace of mind offered by partnering with an experienced brand such as Amazon, convinced InCred AWS was the right choice. “We felt comfort around the number of years AWS services had been in action,” says Nitin Agarwal, chief operating officer.

When AWS opened the Asia-Pacific (Mumbai) Region in India on 28 June 2016, InCred decided to launch in the AWS Cloud. Financial businesses are governed by strict regulations in India, so having data centers outside the country would have created more compliance work for the company.

“Another major reason we chose AWS was its suite of features that we could use directly out of the box,” says Aedla. His team appreciated the range of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance types available, which they used to set up their database engine in conjunction with Amazon Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner Powerupcloud Technologies. InCred engages with Powerupcloud for continuous system monitoring and product development. The company uses four different database engines, both relational and NoSQL, including Amazon Aurora from the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) family, and Amazon DynamoDB to capture unstructured data received at the start of the loan-application process. Amazon Redshift is also used as a data warehouse to enable fast and simple data querying. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon CloudFront were implemented on the front end of the InCred platform.

Recently, InCred began shifting its operation onto code-based, serverless AWS Lambda architecture and is experimenting with Amazon API Gateway. “As a technological company, we always aim to be ahead of the curve, and we try to use the latest market offerings once they are released in the region,” Aedla says.

By using AWS, InCred can introduce new financial products, confident its customer data is secure on the AWS Cloud. Activating new cloud services to improve the business is simple, and engineers appreciate ready access to support when needed. “The integration of the whole AWS ecosystem caused a huge reduction in our time to market, simply because of all the services readily available and the support provided for those services. It’s easy to find help when we need it,” Aedla says.

In addition, by using cloud-based database engines, InCred can assimilate highly variable data points to make rapid credit decisions. Within the first six months of operations, InCred had already launched six products, which is a testament to the seamless scalability of its AWS architecture.

Another benefit of the AWS Cloud is the fact that, because system engineers do not have to maintain databases, they are able to spend time innovating new products, which is the core of the InCred business model. Engineers are now working on a complete analytics model unique to InCred, with the data collected on their various AWS database engines. “The agility and scalability of our AWS infrastructure have been critical aspects of our business,” says Agarwal.

InCred uses a virtual private network and strict identity management controls as part of its authentication process to ensure data privacy. Amazon CloudFront controls user access to data only through InCred’s powerful API. When it comes to security, Agarwal says, “We believe everything is already built into the AWS architecture. The number of years AWS has been in business lends credibility to our business in a market where cloud architecture is still a new concept to some government and business leaders.”

Learn more about AWS and databases.