India has a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, yet only 30-40 million individuals hold credit cards. One reason is the large cross-section of the population with low income and poor or non-existent credit histories, which makes it difficult for them to qualify for credit through traditional channels. ZestMoney is on a quest to change this by helping more people get credit to participate in the consumer economy, and ultimately grow the digital footprint in India.
An innovative FinTech, ZestMoney built a platform that integrates mobile technology, digital banking, and artificial intelligence, enabling people to apply for and get a decision on credit within minutes. ZestMoney is catching on quickly across India: to date, about 6 million customers are using their ZestMoney credit to pay for merchandise, travel, education, healthcare, and much more. The target is to grow the number of customers five times within the next year, as well as expand merchant partnerships from 3,000 today to more than 8,000.
The challenge is how to achieve this scale while delivering on performance and customer experience expectations.
Accelerating service delivery with AWS containers
ZestMoney needed an elastic, cost-effective infrastructure to meet its scalability, DevOps, and service delivery goals. That’s why the company chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud platform. ZestMoney uses Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) for hosting a few core services, and Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) for most of its containerized services, including its decision engine.
In addition, ZestMoney uses Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for its database, AWS CodeDeploy for all deployments, Amazon CloudWatch to monitor the logs, and AWS CloudTrail to monitor events. The company also relies on Amazon Route 53 domain name server, Amazon CloudFront content delivery, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) messaging, and Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS).
The company chose to deploy Docker containers on AWS for optimal scalability, stability, and performance for critical operations such as the ZestMoney decision engine, and for returning pre-approval notices and repayment schedules to customers within minutes of making their applications.
Ganesh Muralidhar, director of DevOps at ZestMoney, says, “In the past, it took two or three minutes for a new server to come up with all services running on just EC2. Post-migration to containers, it now takes only a few seconds for services to launch or scale up.”
Amazon ECS also helps ZestMoney improve the availability of services. “If a container goes down, ECS automatically brings up a new one and the service stays healthy,” Ganesh notes. “We were running at around 97.5% to 98% uptime last year. This year we are 99.86%.”