What we did
Hindering customer growth
Chances are you don't think too much about how the payment process works when you purchase a sweater or shoes online or at the store. But PayChoice does. While consumers are busy shopping and reviewing items in their carts, PayChoice is performing behind-the-scenes work to ensure your transaction goes smoothly and is completed with the highest levels of security.
As the preferred payment solution for more than 3,000 businesses in Australia, from banks and childcare centres to ecommerce sites and school districts, PayChoice keeps payments running smoothly for its partners and their customers. The payment gateway provider touts its low fees, industry-leading security, and same-day customer support from a dedicated team. PayChoice also integrates with a business' existing software for seamless transactions and no manual follow-up.
“PayChoice has been around for 10 years, but we’re really in a growth stage now,” says Theo Dela Cruz, Project Manager for PayChoice. “But being [in] an on-prem environment has limitations with capability and turnaround time because it’s all physical hardware.”
In fact, there was a time not long ago when each time PayChoice needed to make updates, the system was down for two hours. This occurred every month. “Fixing something [on premises]—even small—is much less seamless than we want,” Dela Cruz says.
Due to the nature of working with sensitive data such as credit card numbers, PayChoice and companies like it need to be Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant with their data and transactions. This type of compliance has regulations that differ depending on the number of transactions the company completes per year.
The company also faces an internal challenge: it is cost-prohibitive to add more developers.
In recent years, PayChoice began facing questions from customers about whether it was in the cloud. Dela Cruz explains, “When we tried getting a larger merchant or customer, we started encountering them asking us ‘are you in the cloud’?”
PayChoice began looking for a more agile solution that wouldn't cost as much and would scale better to accommodate its future growth strategy. The company chose Slalom as its trusted partner to complete the modernisation.
There is now no limitation for PayChoice to onboard more customers at speed. They can do it at any moment in time.
Embarking on a cloud enablement journey with a business consultancy
The partnership has been strong from the start. “I don’t have much cloud experience and Slalom has been amazing from the beginning,” Dela Cruz says. “Slalom has helped drive the project and I’ve learned a lot from our contacts—they’ve gone above and beyond for us.”
Slalom helped PayChoice establish an AWS landing zone and created segregation of different environments using AWS Control Tower and AWS Network Firewall. The team also utilized Web Application Firewall (WAF) and AWS RDS for MSSQL. Being in the cloud and using AWS offers a multitude of built-in security controls such as physical data centre security. There's also security protection against DDoS attacks—malicious attacks on the server—built into PayChoice’s cloud environment. PCI compliance is maintained at high levels and usually with the click of a button.
"For PayChoice, we leveraged AWS native security services that tightly integrate with the solution," says Mohammed Usman, Principal, Slalom. "We used the native services to customize for PayChoice, such as with Web Application Firewall, which is a web application firewall that protects against threats. Since AWS manages the controls, everything is constantly updated."
Usman notes that leveraging the AWS native services means operational activities like patch management, backup, and monitoring are all automated now. He predicts, “PayChoice is going to spend less time on its operations now and can focus its time more on the business.”
Saving time each month
Regarding impact, Dela Cruz states, “The biggest benefit is to our time.” Whereas the company used to have to take down the system for two hours each month for maintenance, now PayChoice has that time back.
Dela Cruz adds that PayChoice can now do step-by-step maintenance without stopping its system, thanks to redundancies. “That means we don’t have to send out that awkward maintenance message every end of the month and disturb everyone.”
In addition to saving time on maintenance, PayChoice now enjoys greater data resilience. The company has a virtual data centre in the cloud, so even if the solution went down, then there would be another for it to fall back on, Usman says. “This makes the solution incredibly resilient.”
Data retrieval that used to take PayChoice employees 4 or 5 hours now takes 5 minutes.
Better security with the click of a button
With built-in AWS security tools, PayChoice now enjoys a stronger security posture. “Originally, we weren’t using some of the services we’re using now. Some of them weren’t easy to roll out for an on-prem environment,” Dela Cruz says. “With a cloud environment, you’re basically just clicking a button.”
He notes PayChoice can now set alarms with ease that would notify the team in case of a security breach.
In the arena of PCI compliance, the team can now quickly and easily create reports to meet the requirements. “All these bits and pieces with AWS add up to speed up the entire compliance process,” Dela Cruz says.
Smoother scalability for global expansion
Since PayChoice can now scale its servers with a tap of the finger, the company doesn’t need to provision new hardware or wait for lengthy updates. “There is now no limitation for PayChoice to onboard more customers at speed. They can do it at any moment in time,” Usman notes.
Today, PayChoice has already added new customers since moving to the cloud. The company is also expanding into New Zealand with plans to move into the UK and the Middle East next. PayChoice is also working on developing new service offerings at the same time. The cloud has truly enabled a modern, global expansion for this payments provider.