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Nexi Group Scales Cashless Payment Platform to Handle Billions of Transactions

photo of woman making payment with mobile app

INDUSTRY

Financial services

PRODUCT

MongoDB Atlas

USE CASE

Payments

CUSTOMER SINCE

2020
INTRODUCTION

Leading the way for cashless transactions in Europe

Digital checkout is one of the most important steps of the e-commerce buying journey. Done well, it should be fast, easy, and effortless, but it’s also an opportunity to personalize the shopper experience and offer greater choice over how and when consumers pay.

The Nexi Group is a European ‘PayTech’ company providing cashless financial services online and in-store. The Group was formed through a strategic merger between Nets, Nexi, and Sia and operates across 25 plus countries. It accounts for about 65% of the European consumption, reaching 2.4 million merchants and is focused on growth.

Among its portfolio of products, the company identified Nets Easy as one of the key platforms to scale across Europe. Nets Easy offers e-commerce companies with a secure and compliant digital checkout coupled with a great user experience. Nexi philosophy is European by scale, local by nature which means supporting local currencies and payment methods and providing personalized recommendations based on customer behavior.

“Nets Easy adds value for both consumers and merchants. It securely stores card information for a fast checkout, and enables seamless onboarding experience to merchants using APIs,” explains Tahir Jamal, Technical Product Owner at Nets, Nexi Group. “Easy offers functionality that helps merchants run their businesses, e.g., payment search and administration, reporting, dashboards with sales statistics, business intelligence and partner functionality.”

Nets Easy mobile app user interface

Nets Easy adds value for both consumers and merchants. It securely stores card information for a fast checkout, and enables seamless onboarding experience to merchants using APIs

THE CHALLENGE

Modernizing the relational database architecture supporting Nets Easy

To achieve its growth ambitions, Nexi Group needed to modernize its architecture and move to the cloud. That included moving the Nets Easy Portal to use a Document Database to optimize the payment search and administration functions.

“The payment lifecycle kicks off when an order is placed. The checkout flow enables customers to pay online by reserving money on their card that’s then charged when the order ships. Returns are also built into the workflow so money can be refunded when the item is received back by the merchant,” Jamal says.

Nets Easy processes millions of transactions. It was built on a relational database management system (RDBMS) with high availability, replication between two data centers, and a normalized schema. Each transaction can trigger multiple payment actions, which potentially makes processing slow and complex to manage.

With ambitions to scale up to handle billions of transactions, the team defined new architecture requirements and went to market.

“Nets Easy is hugely successful in the Nordics. To replicate that to other markets, we needed consistency, high availability, high performance, and a great user experience across the continent,” Jamal adds. “Cost efficiency was also a consideration, but we never compromised on security, data privacy, or GDPR compliance.”

With data distributed across Europe, Nexi Group needed a cloud solution with low latency, faster and cheaper per transaction.

Photo of Tahir Jamal, Technical Product Owner at Nets, Nexi Group

“MongoDB Atlas will help us scale across Europe, horizontally and securely.” Tahir Jamal, Technical Product Owner at Nets, Nexi Group

THE SOLUTION

Embracing the next-generation “relational” database platform

Nexi Group implemented MongoDB Atlas to simplify and scale its data architecture. As Jamal explains, “We introduced a data model appropriate for our needs and a database that supported high concurrency and consistency. MongoDB is a great document database with advance features. Unlike other NoSQL databases, it not only supports almost all capabilities that you get with an RDBMS, but also provides much more flexibility. It’s like a next-generation ‘relational’ database.”

Jamal’s team partnered with MongoDB Flex Consulting for advice and to learn best practices, including how to design its schema, indexes, and embrace aggregation pipelines. For data efficiency and increased performance, it was decided to co-locate data in a single document for most of payment search use cases. Co-locating data means there’s no complex joins, which enhances speed and performance.

MongoDB Atlas supports ACID behavior which stands for ‘atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability’, where each quality contributes to ensuring data integrity during transactions. This is a common requirement in the financial services industry. During a multistep transaction, ‘atomicity’ means either all instructions within that transaction happen successfully, or none at all. If the system can’t verify a customer’s credit card, for example, the payment will not be processed.

‘Consistency’ ensures data is correct before and after the transaction is executed, and ‘isolation’ guarantees that concurrent transactions each happen in isolation. Finally, ‘durability’ means that the data is protected from any failures if the transaction ends abnormally.

When it comes to improving the developer experience, MongoDB enables native object-based programming, which is more user friendly. Instead of using object-relational mapping (ORM) to create a bridge between object-orientated programs and the database, developers can use the MongoDB API.

“MongoDB Atlas will help us scale across Europe, horizontally and securely. We’ve sharded our data across sites only within Europe to comply with GDPR regulations, and high availability across data centers provides the level of durability we need to protect financial transactions in the event of an outage,” Jamal explains.

Nets Easy mobile app user interface

With Nets Easy, customers can adapt the checkout language to local needs

“MongoDB is a great document database with advance features. Unlike other NoSQL databases, it not only supports almost all capabilities that you get with an RDBMS, but also provides much more flexibility. It’s like a next-generation ‘relational’ database.”

Tahir Jamal, Technical Product Owner, Nets, Nexi Group

THE RESULTS

Getting ready to scale Nets Easy across Europe

With the new solution in place, we are ready to scale from a Scandinavian to a European level. For example we have already entered the German market successfully which is much bigger and offers a huge potential for growth.

With MongoDB Atlas, Nexi Group has a modern and a scalable database platform to support its Nets Easy product expansion across Europe. The infrastructure will support billions of financial transactions with low risk of downtime.

For a company that invests €300 million every year in IT innovation, MongoDB Atlas was the perfect choice to modernize its data platform and future-proof the architecture as Nexi Group advances towards the rapidly changing demands of the European PayTech market.

Johannes Brännström & Tahir Jamal – How we scaled a payments system with MongoDB | Øredev 2022
“MongoDB Atlas will help us to scale across Europe.”

Tahir Jamal, Technical Product Owner, Nets, Nexi Group

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