AWS has given us a flexible, dynamic, cost-effective platform to launch new services and support client growth.
Spokesperson Data Science Team , PayU India
  • Needed a scalable and secure infrastructure to deliver its payment gateway and meet compliance requirements
  • The company is running its cloud-based database and associated systems on AWS
  • Supported growth in merchant numbers from thousands to more than 300,000
  • Supported growth in consumers from 25 million to more than 50 million
  • Brought new product to market in less than two weeks
  • Kept latency to a few milliseconds

PayU Group operates in 16 countries across Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. The Indian operation - PayU India - is one of the top-three payment gateway providers in the country with more than 30 percent market share, comprising more than 300,000 merchants. PayU India provides more than 70 online payment methods and aims to match merchants’ needs with the way consumers shop and pay. The business, which focuses heavily on data analytics and data science, has over 800 employees in India.

In August 2016, global online payment services provider PayU announced that leading Indian payments technology business Citrus Pay would become part of its Indian operation. To thrive in a competitive market, the transformed PayU India operation needed to deliver reliable, responsive payment services. These services included payment gateways that enable merchants to take payments digitally from consumers, and a planned product that would enable approved consumers to consolidate multiple payments for day-to-day goods and services purchased online. Depending on credit profiles developed by PayU India, consumers would also be able to defer payments for a short period and pay later using options such as Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), National Electronic Funds Transfer, debit/credit card and net banking, or through an electronic wallet.

With PayU India and Citrus Pay merging, the business needed to consolidate data from both sides to maximize the use of information to make data-driven decisions. The PayU India data science team calculated the business would need to scale up its existing infrastructure fourfold while aggregating all data sources into a single database. The new architecture would also need to scale to support increasing demand while enabling PayU India to control its costs. With the new payment consolidation and deferral product—called LazyPay—being prepared for launch, the business wanted to gain the flexibility to run proofs of concept of various data products and services in a very short timeframe.

PayU India concluded that it needed to adopt a full-featured cloud service to deliver its payment gateway and realize its potential as an online-payments leader. The cloud-service provider it selected would need to operate a data center in India—to comply with legislation requiring consumers’ data to be retained in India—and operate with minimum latency of 20 to 30 milliseconds. The selected provider would also need to scale quickly to accommodate unexpected events, such as the late-2016 spike in consumers using digital wallets and cashless transaction services that stemmed from a government decision to invalidate certain high-denomination banknotes.

PayU India began evaluating cloud providers against criteria such as the range, quality, and functionality of services; whether providers operated data centers in India; and the cost of the service. The business shortlisted Amazon Web Services (AWS) and another cloud-service provider, and ran proofs of concept for each. “We found AWS had the services, cost structure, and scalability we needed,” says a PayU India data science team spokesperson.


PayU India formally decided to implement a cloud-based database and associated systems in the AWS Cloud near the end of 2015. The data stored and managed in the database would be used to launch LazyPay, which would be accessible via a separate website. PayU India has also moved several production environments to the AWS Cloud, which the business uses to supports its merchants and consumers.

PayU India created its architecture in the AWS Asia-Pacific (Mumbai) Region over a six-week period. During that time, PayU India engaged leading auditors to review AWS’ compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)—a necessary requirement for online payment providers. AWS has been PCI DSS Certified since 2010 and successfully completed the PCI Data Security Standards 3.2 Level 1 Service Provider assessment. The company’s auditors found AWS met all the audit requirements.

AWS helped PayU India design and implement an environment that could support its needs. According to PayU India’s data science spokesperson, “This support included assistance in reviewing the architecture and systems to determine best practices, where costs could be optimized, and whether the systems could be scaled.” The AWS infrastructure operates in an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to provide tiered security, since a virtual private network connects the environment with the colocated data center that continues to host dependent systems. PayU India replicates databases within the AWS infrastructure, and a subset of the transactions are moved to an Amazon Redshift data warehouse, where queries are run to reconcile reports and payments, and understand user behavior. PayU India is also using AWS Lambda to manage AWS resources and run code in response to events. The business is also evaluating Amazon Machine Learning for the key function of determining whether the business should provide credit to Indian residents who do not have credit ratings, cards, or bank accounts. PayU India aggregates and processes data—such as how much a resident spends, what that resident purchases, the residents’ digital footprints and how much they are engaged with digital platforms—inputs it into a machine learning algorithm, and generates a credit score for that resident. With this, PayU India plans to enhance penetration into the digital consumer base and provide instant, short-term credit at checkout and in turn, enable faster and convenient transactions.

PayU India has reaped considerable benefits from using AWS. These include the ability to scale its infrastructure at least fourfold to support a rapid increase in merchant clients, consumers, and transactions. Says the spokesperson, “When we moved to PayU, the number of merchants we supported rose from 10,000 to more than 300,000. The number of consumers our infrastructure had to accommodate rose from 25 million to more than 50 million. And the value of the transactions we manage rose to 60 billion rupees [US$932 million] per month, which is an industry high.” Using AWS features such as Auto Scaling enables PayU India to scale its infrastructure within minutes and without compromising system performance or availability.

The AWS infrastructure has also enabled PayU India to meet demand fueled by the Indian Government’s demonetization initiative in November 2016. The PayU India data science spokesperson says, “In November and December 2016, we saw a considerable increase in data volumes, number of customers we were handling, infrastructure requirements for payment gateways, and for LazyPay. Thanks to AWS we were able to scale rapidly to support them without any hiccups.”

Running on AWS has enabled PayU India to improve the quality of new and updated software releases by running proofs of concept as part of the development process. PayU India was also able to expedite the process of bringing products to market; the LazyPay product was created and delivered to production in just over two weeks. Furthermore, the business has recorded infrastructure availability levels of 99.999 percent, ensuring systems are accessible as and when PayU India’s merchants and its customers need them.

Using the AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region has also enabled PayU India to comply with legislative requirements for customers’ financial information to be retained within India. PayU India has also been able to keep latency for LazyPay within a few milliseconds to ensure its credit-approval and payment services operate in timely fashion and deliver a high-quality customer experience. Says the spokesperson, “AWS has given us a flexible, dynamic, cost-effective platform to launch new services and support client growth.”

Learn more about AWS and financial services.