Customer Stories / Telecommunications / Canada

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PayByPhone Modernizes by Using Windows Containers on AWS

Learn how PayByPhone in mobile payments enhanced the customer experience using AWS Fargate.


in time to receive parking quotes

Improves security posture

by reducing system complexity








For parking service provider PayByPhone, reliability is extremely important. When running its systems in on-premises data centers proved troublesome, the company decided to change. PayByPhone set out to accelerate innovation by reducing its infrastructure management workload so that developers could quickly adopt new solutions. The company also hoped to achieve greater resilience across its global operations.

PayByPhone migrated its first workload to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015, but it kept the majority of its systems on premises. That changed in 2022, when leaders decided to prioritize a cloud migration to AWS. PayByPhone acted quickly to containerize its Windows servers and made the decision to migrate them to Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), a fully managed container orchestration service.

Headlamp lights with elegant and luxury design. Automotive industry and hybrid car concept. Underground parking

Opportunity | Using AWS Fargate to Improve Business Agility for PayByPhone

PayByPhone was founded in 2001, and by 2023, it had more than 80 million users in Europe and North America. The company processes 20 transactions a second at peak hours, and it is the most-used global parking payments app. Because it processes hundreds of millions of transactions each year, PayByPhone has to meet stringent Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance requirements.

Although it wanted to modernize its systems, PayByPhone didn’t want to spend time making significant changes to its application code, which was mostly written in .NET Framework. The company struck the right balance by running Windows containers on AWS, enhancing them to achieve performance improvements. Before migrating, PayByPhone engaged AWS Optimization and Licensing Assessment (AWS OLA), a program that empowers both new and existing customers to assess and optimize their on-premises and cloud environments, reduce required instances, and enhance resource efficiency. “Migrating Windows containers to Amazon ECS gave us a good option for modernizing with minimal necessary changes to the code,” says Richard Beier, principal architect at PayByPhone. “The critical parts of the process are quite a bit faster now that our systems are on AWS.”

As part of its migration to Amazon ECS, PayByPhone needed a compute service that met its performance needs without adding significant maintenance costs. After conversations with the AWS team, the company decided to use AWS Fargate, a serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine for containers. Using AWS Fargate with Amazon ECS, PayByPhone supports its compliance needs and improves the developer experience. “Using AWS, development teams are adopting new technologies and patterns at a much faster pace than we were able to on premises,” says JD Stuart, cloud architect at PayByPhone.


The critical parts of the process are quite a bit faster now that our systems are on AWS.”

Richard Beier
Principal Architect, PayByPhone

Solution | Improving Responsiveness Using Amazon ECS

PayByPhone worked closely alongside the AWS team throughout its project. After deciding to migrate its systems to Amazon ECS, the company participated in the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (AWS MAP), which provides tools that reduce costs and automate migration. PayByPhone developers also built skills in an AWS Immersion Day—Windows Containers on AWS—and in a special workshop alongside AWS solutions architects. These training sessions supported PayByPhone as it developed an innovative solution to its compute needs: running Windows containers on AWS Fargate. In fact, with around 670 containers in the production environment, PayByPhone is one of the biggest companies to have Windows container workloads on AWS.

The pivotal migration cutover involved a team of 48 PayByPhone team members. Given the global scope of the company’s unified platform, opportunities for maintenance windows were scarce. To minimize disruptions, PayByPhone strategically selected a Saturday evening with the lowest traffic volume, outside of key customer events. The company then migrated its core business services with only a few minor issues, ultimately resulting in a successful migration.

After migrating, customers saw an increase in responsiveness across the customer experience. For example, the company reduced response times for parking quotes by 50 percent. “Now, customers get quotes for parking in half the time it used to take,” says Guy McAll, senior technical project manager at PayByPhone. “That was a big win for us, and it created a much better experience for our customers.”

PayByPhone is also seeing far better performance behind the scenes. Because it can deploy to multiple AWS Regions, the company can set up a more robust disaster recovery posture. Similarly, PayByPhone has automated failover capabilities by using multiple active-active data centers on AWS. And, by using AWS Backup, a cost-effective, fully managed, policy-based service that simplifies data protection at scale, it verifies compliance with its backup policies. Now, the company can restore databases quickly from snapshots. In addition, PayByPhone decreased security risks by migrating out of its data center. The result is a far more resilient global system than its previous solution.

Developers have been energized by the modernization initiative. Instead of being held back by infrastructure, they’ve been liberated to experiment with new solutions. This freedom has inspired a cultural change within the company. “People have a new mindset now because teams can explore different technologies and techniques without having to wait for someone to implement that in a data center,” says Stuart.

Architecture Diagram

Outcome | Evolving Modern Services on AWS

PayByPhone has an ambitious road map on AWS. Now that it has migrated to the cloud, it wants to upgrade its legacy .NET Framework services to modern .NET. It’s also targeting an architecture with loosely coupled services that will each have their own data store selected on a case-by-case basis. The company is also interested in adopting a multiregional infrastructure to better position it to comply with emerging data residency and resilience requirements.

With its new systems in place, PayByPhone is innovating faster than ever before. “Our goals for this project on AWS were to enhance reliability, productivity, and business agility, and we’ve achieved those goals,” says Nigel Carroll, chief technology officer at PayByPhone.

About PayByPhone

Founded in 2001, PayByPhone, a FLEETCOR company, is on a mission to simplify paying for parking across two continents. The company offers its mobile payment solutions to cities, private lots, hospitals, and other organizations.

AWS Services Used

Amazon ECS

Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that helps you to more efficiently deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications.

Learn more »

AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is a serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine that lets you focus on building applications without managing servers.

Learn more »


The AWS Migration Acceleration Program (AWS MAP) is a comprehensive and proven cloud migration program based upon AWS’s experience migrating thousands of enterprise customers to the cloud.

Learn more »

AWS Backup

AWS Backup is a cost-effective, fully managed, policy-based service that simplifies data protection at scale.

Learn more »

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